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Dissertation on “Going Open Source” Case Study

Update 2010-03-31: The company in question is WeWebU; read more about its open source strategy in their recent press release. Also, the company would like to hire the person described below directly, as an employee. A potential dissertation then has become a separate matter. If you are interested, please direct your resume directly to the CEO of WeWebU, Stefan Waldhauser, at stefan.waldhauser@wewebu.de.

An established software firm local to the Nuremberg region intends to open source its current successful closed-source software product. The product is an enterprise software product in the space of Enterprise Content and Business Process Management (ECM + BPM). In collaboration with the Professorship for Open Source at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, this firm is looking for someone with open source as well as business experience or at least education and insight. At the firm, this person will be working on the “going open source” process, working directly with the CEO as well as cross-functionally. The work focus will depend on the skills the person brings to the table but a certain breadth of thought and interest is expected.

At the same time, this person will be a Ph.D. student at the University, performing a longitudinal case study of the process of open sourcing an established closed source software product.

The person will be employed at University of Erlangen but will mostly be working at the firm (about 4 out of 5 days a week). The expected outcome after 3-5 years is a dissertation. The firm has a valuable resource at hand who guides and observes the “going open source” process and might become a future employee. The professorship utilizes a unique opportunity for a longitudinal study for the process of switching from a closed to an open source business model.

The person will have to relocate to the Nuremberg region. Salary is commensurate with the academic position of TV L-13 (formerly BAT-IIa) as paid to all Ph.D. students (“wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in”) employed by the university.

Please contact Prof. Riehle if you are interested.