At Microsoft, 'cooperative competition' is a well known strategy for success. As commercial open source continues to drive changes in the software industry, coopetition - between open source and commercial software companies alike - will be a defining factor in determining further business success and meeting customer needs.
Jerry Fishenden explores the principles of cooptition in nature, in gaming, and at Microsoft, in order to make the case for a new software business strategy.The term cooptition has a debatable history, but there's no doubt it's a popular concept in biology, game theory and business management. Fishenden describes several examples of Microsoft's cooperative/competitive relationships with other proprietary and commercial open source companies like Sun, Apple, SAP, IBM, JBoss and SugarCRM. Interoperability within the software and web services ecosystem is proving to be a major asset to all players. Finding the right focus and balance of cooperation and competition is the key.
Microsoft has gained a reputation for its fiercely competitive atmosphere, and continues to harness the energy that competition provides. Creativity sometimes thrives under pressure. In balance, Fishenden argues, investing in friends and skilled allies extends the global community and brings depth and diversity to a rich ecosystem valued by all its members. Some new projects which have emerged from shared codes and licenses include CodePlex and the Creative Commons add-in for Microsoft Office. Overall, he concludes, the coopetive world is a fast-paced place which depends on relationships, trust, endurance, reliability and delivering real value.
Jerry Fishenden is Microsoft UK's lead technology advisor and spokesman on the value and implications of present and future technological developments - and their impact on public policy. As NTO, Jerry is responsible for helping to develop Microsoft's vision around the use of IT for transforming the way we learn, live and work.
Prior to joining Microsoft Jerry worked in a variety of senior positions in the public sector, including as head of business systems for the UK’s chief financial services regulator in the City of London; as an Officer of the House of Commons, establishing the Parliamentary Data and Video Network at the Houses of Parliament; and as a Director of IT in the National Health Service (NHS).
Jerry has been closely involved with the UK’s e-government programme since 1997. He has played an active role in helping resolve complex policy aspects relating to user identity management, security, transactional services, open standards and interoperability. He has also been involved in the strategic development of the UK Government Gateway (the UK government’s national solution for user identity and transactional services).
Jerry holds a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in the application of artificial intelligence techniques to composition from City University (London). He is a Fellow of the Institute for the Management of Information Systems (FIMIS) and a Fellow of the Institution of Analysts and Programmers (FIAP).
He is married with one son and in his spare time relaxes by composing music and enjoying time with his family.
This free podcast is from our Open Source Business Conference series.