This model primarily involves offering a "core" or feature limited version of a software product as free and open-source software, while offering "commercial" versions or add-ons as proprietary software, or offering other services for the open source version in a similar manner.
In short, potential customers need to understand Commercial Open Source != Open Source.
I do not understand why there is no question asked when customers purchase Linux Operating Systems from RedHat.
However, when it comes to asking for a subscription from any of ForgeRock Open Identity Stack, there will be a long list of questions. :)
The only reason I can think of is the subscription for ForgeRock Open Identity Stack will never be as cheap as that for RedHat Operating System, for the same number of users. Come on, let's compare apple-with-apple. How can one compare an Operating System with a Identity Management software?
Instead, customers should at least ring up the sales from similar Identity Management companies and get quotations from them. Then, sit down and be amazed by how relatively cheaper is the subscription from ForgeRock. (Well, sometimes it might not be cheaper. Customers need to compare features-by-features as well.)
The point is to compare an apple with an apple. And then features by features.
Recently, there is this article on the web where the U.S. Department of Defense made their stand on Open Source software.
It is clear that even the organisation that requires the most secured environment in the world does not oppose to using Open Source software. (as long as there is commercial support for the Open Source software, i supposed. Make sense?)
I like to flash the following to potential customers showing them the differences it make when one subscribe to ForgeRock support.
We are now talking about support for Enterprise-ready products - real Identity Management software for the Enterprise for every day use ... 24x7.
Not forgetting there is this trend of deploying the Open Identity Stack for the Modern Web, which is a huge deployment on the cloud for millions of users. How can one go about deploying the Open Identity Stack without valid subscriptions? :>
Lastly, I like to congratulate ForgeRock on their new WINS which was recently announced in the ForgeRock European Summit!
GEICO, a recent win, has a really huge OpenAM deployment out there. (I will definitely get a case study from my counterpart in ForgeRock for GEICO)
Thomson Reuters has been a long-time customer of ForgeRock using OpenAM and has recently migrated all their Sun Directory Servers to OpenDJ.
SalesForce - do I need to say much? :> Read here.
McKesson has deployed various OpenAM/OpenDJ/OpenIdM solutions to the healthcare systems in the United States.
The big names are paying for ForgeRock subscriptions. They do value the support services that ForgRock provides.
So, is Commercial Open Source == Open Source?