What is free software?
The freedom we associate with open source is not the one of free beer.
Free Software provides independence from providers because the code can be analyzed and changed by all. Tens of thousands people benefit because optimizations are being published again. As this happens very quickly through distribution networks, open source is also very safe and robust.
If everything is free, what do we do charge to customers? We plan, decide, adapt, integrate, test, roll out and keep records. If necessary, we organize the operation and monitoring of systems.
How does a project proceed in detail? After an initial meeting we usually start with a survey phase. Here all requirements are gathered and an architecture with matching components is being outlined. This is followed by a proof-of-concept: we test, whether the requirements can be met and make proposals on additional and possible features - often much to the surprise of the customer. After that, we proceed iteratively with agile methods in several steps to implementation. In sensible projects, with a field trial and a defined user group. When deploying we integrate the existing user base and provide support in the implementation and beyond the operation.
When selecting the software components we evaluate many aspects, also the degree of freedom. Depending on the business model of the provider add-ons or an enterprise version are sometimes not free. Here dependencies need to be deliberated, especially if the product should have a long life time.
Ask us for a non-binding TCO estimation! Our up-front costs mmay be a bit higher, but we do not charge license fees. We offer SLAs and support as needed.
After all, you always can change your service provider. No need to change the software as well, you are not locked-in with free open source software.