Open Source Acquisitions: How a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly

open source caterpillarBlack Duck has changed a lot over the last years – recent acquisitions include SpikeSource, Ohloh and today Olliance – and its offer now goes definitely beyond the legal landscape.

One of the first Commercial Open Source entries enlisted Black Duck among open source players taking advantage of the absence of a corporate actor to develop and offer new services not coding related.

Black Duck was an intellectual property management firm, OSRM was providing warranty services, SpikeSource was offering software dependability services and OpenLogic was providing support for a number of open source packages.Four years later – and two years and a half after Koders‘ acquisition – Black Duck is less about (open source) risk management and more about governance and strategies.

Talking about the latter, I asked Andrew Aitken - Olliance Group’s founder and spokeperson – to comment the acquisition:

With Black Duck’s global sales team and group of highly qualified resellers and 750 existing customers, we look forward to rapidly expending our reach and customer base.

It makes business sense, the challenge ahead seems to integrate all BlackDuck tools and knowledge across their business network to offer consistently “productized services“.

Tim Yeaton, talking again to me about his vision, said:

We have successfully partnered with the Olliance Group for the past year, and bringing them into the Black Duck family will enable us to provide customers with end-to-end enterprise-level services and solutions – from FOSS business strategy and policy consulting, to automation and management of their FOSS use. Olliance will also help support our corporate vision of enabling broader FOSS adoption by development teams in enterprises, as well as by individual developers through our community and our pending integration of our code search site into Ohloh. And the acquisition of Olliance completes Black Duck’s transformation into the open source lifecycle adoption and enablement company, which we have been working toward for the past two years.

At Black Duck are definitely living in interesting times, congrats to both Andrew and Tim.