Imagine my excitement to see the new Sales Performance International (SPI) Accelerator finally released on Codeplex (http://crmaccelerators.codeplex.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=31556). Well a pdf pointing to it, at least.
I thought it a bit strange that I had to register with some mob called Mondo to get the software but there it is. The zip file you get contains an installer and some pdfs but that’s about it. As it turns out the free version is a 3-user version with the full version coming at a cost.
So, here’s the problem. The CRM Accelerators are created as ‘springboards’ for further development. To quote the accelerator home page (http://crmaccelerators.codeplex.com/):
‘all samples are supplied with full source-code so they can be extended further to meet specific customer requirements’.
Moreover, the requirements for hosting a project on codeplex are (http://codeplex.codeplex.com/Wiki/View.aspx?title=CodePlex%20FAQ#Requirements):
- You must choose a license for your project (license resources: Open Source License page on Wikipedia)
- It must be an ongoing project (no “abandoned” projects)
- It must have source code (no non-software projects)
The codeplex page (http://crmaccelerators.codeplex.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=31556) has no source code, so I emailed Mondo asking for the source code and got the following response from one of their directors:
Thank you for your question.
Our vision is to begin to drive sales effectiveness through day-in-the-life activities of sales professionals and managers by combining sales process, the supporting methods and tools, overlaid in a CRM system with formal training and informal knowledge management.
We sell the accelerator (full version) through a community of dedicated partners, but decided to make a free version with limited functionality available to the Microsoft community to generate excitement and awareness around the Microsoft accelerators.
There are Sales Performance International, SPI, (the company that owns the Solution Selling ® methodology), intellectual property rights that we have to respect and we have an R&D investment that we have to protect. Thus, unfortunately, we can’t provide you with a copy of the source code.
Please let us know should you have any questions.
I replied asking if the placing of the add-on on Codeplex is some sort of oversight and got the following.
I see your point. However, the decision was made and driven together with Microsoft who is hosting the site. I think it is a great opportunity for companies who want an introduction to the Solution Selling ® process and the MSCRM accelerators in general that they can download a whitepaper that talks about the opportunities in this area. The software itself is not available for download on the codeplex site – although the whitepaper is. To download the software you have to register for your trial copy at the Mondo website (www.mondo.dk/dk/freemssa)
If you are interested we can talk about an arrangement for the Accelerator for you and your organization for for example extending it or otherwise modifying it.
So the point of view of Mondo and, by implication Microsoft is that the ‘project’ being hosted on Codeplex is the whitepaper and not the software and therefore it is fair use. This being said, even the whitepaper has restrictions on its reproduction as stated at the end of the document.