Grenoble Graduate School of Business: MBA Marketing AssignmentInformation Technology and Open Source Marketing in the Participation AgePatrick PetitNovember 2007Executive SummaryThe social and economical evolutions under way, known as the participation age, reflectfundamental changes in consumer behaviors. Although people are still interested in brands andproducts, they are finding the old-school advertising techniques out-of-sync with their lifestyle.
Today's advertisers seem to be facing quite a brain-teaser challenge to retrieve customerenthusiasm about brands and products. James Cherkoff and many other sharp observers of themarkets of the 21st century, think that the answer to this issue lies in a phenomenon known as theOpen Source Movement, which has pioneered the era of the Participation Age.
Sun Microsystems, a computer manufacturer and software vendor, headquartered in California,has made a bold move, following the breakdown of the dot-com business and the rise of thecommodity computing concept, by open-sourcing most of its intellectual property assets. Thecompany, influenced by the values and vision of the participation age, has adopted an open sourcemarketing strategy in a strive to broaden its market and improve revenues.
The company has been fairly successful in this strategy. Sun's return to profitability in 2007 maybe an indication that the company is starting to reap the benefits of such a strategy, although othercompanies of the Information Technology sector, like IBM, have been more successful than Sunin applying it. It appears that in order to generate revenues out of free software, it is necessary toeffectively leverage other sources of revenues, which truly rely on the company's ability to deliverhighly complex problem-solving solutions. To achieve that goal, it is recommended that Sunimprove its solutions offerings through a more global and better integrated professional servicesorganization.
1 IntroductionThe social and economical evolutions under way, known as the participation age, reflectfundamental changes in consumer behaviors. Although people are still...