It is usually difficult for companies to keep up with the development of new information technologies and adapt in face of the opportunities and threats those advances may represent. This is especially true for small and medium enterprises (SME) in emerging economies, where resources tend to be scarce and markets more volatile. This paper describes an action-research conducted in a small Brazilian software house that adopted an open-source Web Services development platform in order to improve its software development process. Data analysis revealed critical success factors (CSF) in the adoption process, as well as specific benefits and barriers prone to be faced by small software houses in their adoption efforts. In the process of overcoming such barriers, SME may acquire intellectual capital that represents an essential resource to ensure their competitiveness and survival in emerging economies.