Michelin’s Open Source Guiding Principles

Michelin is committed to open source for many years and we won't stop there.

We started 15 years ago when we decided to leverage many open source software in our home-made development platforms (built on top of Java & JEE).

The story continued in 2010 with the Jenkins adoption for our Continuous Integration solution. We took that opportunity to also contribute back with several open source plugins still being used and maintained today.

Now comes the time to move to the next stage.

There are three main open source activities at Michelin:

  • Consume: using third-party open source software in Michelin’s technology stack. We're more than ever committed to use open source software and we already have an open source review board led by DCSI/MQ & DCD teams. It mainly ensures that when using an open source software, we check the license, terms and conditions and specific legal issues (such as embargos …).
  • Contribute: contributing to existing third-party open source projects. These contributions happened several times in the past and we do have a legal framework we can use. It covers the license under which we contribute, which legal company is contributing, the individual that contributes and the intellectual property management. We would like to encourage our teams to contribute on open source projects: it's a way for Michelin to give back to the OSS community after years consuming the value it produced.
  • Create open sourcing proprietary software and their full lifecycle, both internally and externally. Michelin is now willing to create open source software and it's a strong inflexion in this area.

There is a rational behind our open source adoption and promotion:

  • Engineering Economics: we recognize (for a long a time now) that it is more cost-effective to thoughtfully use or customize existing open source software than to build our own solutions to compete with an already successful open source community. Furthermore, this economics equation also exists for Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS): in some cases, adopting an open source software is competitive compare to commercial offers. Over the long term, leveraging existing software accelerates development, allows shared development, and optimizes R&D.
  • Talent Acquisition and Retention: by showcasing how Michelin creates innovative technologies that solve technical problems, we can further learn and grow our technical expertise, cultivate Michelin’s reputation and gain influence within the community. In turn, this leads to greater talent acquisition and retention. Likewise, recruiting benefits from a pool of external talents with existing knowledge of the open source software already used in our technology stack.
  • Sustain the Open Source Community we benefited from by contributing and giving back