Now Outsource To Switch To Open Source

by Hinesh Jethwani    Apr 14, 2004

With Open Source proliferation on the rise, there is a surging demand for organizations specializing in handling demanding migration projects. Migration has become a key concern for enterprises dreaming of a complete Open Source environment, as legacy overhauls and application transfers impose a gargantuan challenge.

The latest service to go the Â’outsource’ way is migration to Open Source, which is finding its way into the hands of Indian techies, in the form of lucrative global projects. Among the list of many Indian companies that are riding high on the current wave, is Mumbai-based Grey Matter India Technologies, which has managed to bag significant Open Source migration projects from enterprises around the globe.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Dikshant Dave, founder and technical director, Grey Matter India Technologies, said, “Outsourcing an Open Source migration project can fetch an enterprise a benefit of approximately 25-35% in terms of cost savings. However, communication is definitely slower in the case of executing such projects remotely.”

Grey Matter is currently working on a migration project for a retail chain outlet in the UK, where Open Source technologies are expected to introduce significant benefits. The enterprise has decided to shift to Linux from Windows, due to an exponential increase in costs incurred with the proprietary platform. A primary solution deployed by the retail chain is called Â’Grip’, which is a multi-module Supply Chain application designed with an XML reading engine. As the retailer received files in numerous formats from its suppliers, Grip was designed to effectively standardize a single style of communication.

Detailing issues and challenges faced in the project, Dave explained, “As cutting costs was the clients primary objective, we implemented the business logic using EJB on JBoss. The primary hurdle was the limited community support that is available for JBoss, and we encountered numerous bugs. Due to the lack of information, we had to discover and solve many of the bugs ourselves. Data mining and aggregation was a critical aspect, and creating generality in the XML engine was another arduous task. Another limiter was the lack of local expertise, as developers having hardcore technical expertise on Linux in India is less than professionals trained on Windows.”

The project was initiated in August 2003, and is expected to be completed by June this year. Grey Matter is also in the process of executing another migration project for an Italian client, which involves a shift from Windows to Linux. It recently finished a portal development project for US based Universal Technology Association Inc, which involved database migration from MS SQL Server to MySQL, an OS transfer from Windows to Red Hat Linux, and server side scripting on PHP. The project fetched Grey Matter a cool $80,000, and the company is open to extending its services in India as well.

Typical charges for migration projects average to approximately $12 per hour, and there are a lot of metrics involved in deciding the total cost.

So what is the company contributing to the Open Source community after gaining so much from it? Dave replied, “Many of our employees contribute to the JBoss community. We are also in the process of releasing our proprietary video streaming solution to the Open Source community in the near future.”

Tags: Outsource