Research Paper

The Ecosystem of openKONSEQUENZ, a User-Led Open Source Foundation

B. Schwab, D. Riehle, A. Barcomb and N. Harutyunyan




Companies without expertise in software development can opt to form consortia to develop open source software to meet their needs, as an alternative to the build-or-buy decision. Such user-led foundations are little understood, due to a limited number of published examples. In particular, almost nothing is known about the ecosystems surrounding user-led foundations. Our work seeks to address this gap, through an exploratory qualitative survey of openKONSEQUENZ, from the German energy sector. We find that the technological goals are quite homogeneous, independent of a participant's role in the ecosystem, but that economic conflicts exist between foundation members and supplier companies due to the consortium's efforts to transform the software market structure to limit dependency on specific vendors.


  title = {The Ecosystem of {openKONSEQUENZ}, a User-Led Open Source Foundation},
  year = {2020},
  author = {Schwab, Bettina and Riehle, Dirk and Barcomb, Ann and Harutyunyan, Nikolay},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2020)},