Since their launch I've had the opportunity to stay in contact with members of the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA) and have continued to track both the progress of the organization as a whole as well as its individual members. The OSA doesn't produce a product or offer a service (they happen to be non-profit) so I can't exactly advocate them, but what I've taken from my analysis of recent announcements is that they are diligently executing strategy and making good on their stated purpose.
At this point in the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA) lifespan it proves overly ambitious to predict a long-term course and path. However, the unmet demand for integrated business solutions from the open source marketplace is a clear indicator of timing and opportunity that favors the OSA's mission/outlook. The matter of timing is especially relevant considering that the OSA will find its success determined by membership traction within both the vendor and technology provider crowds. For example, the current timing of Linux emerging as a force on the desktop front is one reason I think the Linux Foundation will find it easier to establish relevancy than its parents, the Open Source Development Labs and Free Software Group. Likewise, while current circumstances aren't exactly a 'perfect storm,' OSA doesn't have to wait for a sizable chunk of the market to recognize and gather interest in why they are doing what they are.
Still, considering that the open source business applications category has a ways to go before reaching mainstream status, it will be critical for the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA) to actively feed off the momentum gathering in the open source corner as opposed to overreaching. Thus far, they have done well to identify the specific short comings of point solutions which have emerged from the open source arena and have yet to fall prey to the fix-it-all-with-buzzwords mentality. Even more than growing the membership roster, I think staying the course that the reality of open source in the business application domain dictates is a top priority. At the moment, this happens to be relatively straight-forward considering the emergent status of the marketplace, but as its reach and size expands the challenge of tying its divergent aspects together will prove a worthy challenge.
Ensuring that the above happens will be aided by the outlook that members, friends and other participants associated with OSA have towards collaboration. I've touched on the fact that the open source software industry represents a well-oiled form of collective competition. And since each and every participant has to, by virtue of having signed up, made at least some commitment to the concept of community, there should be fewer barriers in the way of producing added results as a group in the long run. This fact will be crucial as it relates to bringing forth strong integration focused output. Support of the open source model and its tenets is a cohesive element that should serve to mitigate competitive/ideological spats which might otherwise plague a similar arrangement within the proprietary world. It makes sense that there's less to fear losing and more to look forward to gaining on behalf of those who are embracing openness and transparency.
Efficacious response by the OSA to both opportunity and challenge which lie ahead can only be demonstrated over time. Thus far I've noted a consistency in stated strategy/approach, action and prospective follow-through, which are positive indicators of a solid foundation being put in place. More of the same will bode well for them and their mission.