Mar. 23, 2009 SDF Global Open Source Colloquium

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On March 23, 2009 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, SDForum, and Microsoft held the Global Open Source Colloquium. Open source continues to expand around the world. There are government initiatives and new business models to meet new economic realities. Text from

SourceForge founder and pioneer Larry Augustin gave the first keynote on “The Future Of Software: Why Open Sources Is The Safe Bet”. In the 1980’s you could not get fired for buying IBM. In the 1990’s it was Microsoft. Today the safe choice for venture funding is Open Source. Open Source is not a overall business model but strategy to solve a particular problem. In 2008 there was over 458 million dollars in venture capital investment. He expects 2009 will see more mergers and acquisitions but few if any IPOs. With the downturn, cost cutting is driving open source. Text from

Prashant Nema of SVB moderated panelists Michael Doyle of Medsphere, Arnaud LeHors of IBM, Lin Lee of Sun Microsystems and Mikko Valimaki of Helsinki University of Technology on the topic “Global Initiatives and Governments: Opportunities and Challenges”. Text from

Michael Doyle has worked in almost IT aspect of healthcare. With Medsphere, Doyle intends to radically disrupt traditional proprietary software in the clinical information in hospitals. Better IT saves lives. The Federal government requires hospitals to create electronic medical records (EMR). Medsphere took the Veteran Administration’s open source VISTA EMR system and modifies it for hospitals. The system is paid for, tested and working. Medsphere adds value on top of the open source for hospitals not just in America but internationally. Text from

Arnaud LeHors talked about emerging markets struggling with the enormous costs of proprietary software that hobble electronic market. National governments see open source reducing costs and encouraging the adoption of international standards.

Lin Lee sees the change in administrations as an opportunity for the United States to catch up with the open source development around the world. Government mandates drive adoption.

Mikko Valimaki said open source is good for embedded devices with global markets. A set top box running an international open source standard can be cheaply developed, manufactured and sold internationally. Text from

Andrew Aitken of Olliance gave the second keynote on Open Source opportunities and the outlook in Asia. He sees a constantly changing scene, with companies being formed and absorbed like MySql. If your company is getting downloads you are getting users and hopefully revenue. The mobile market for open source is particularly vexing with Symbian and Android. Are they truly open source? This space will only get more complex. Asian governments are pushing open source and there are many green field opportunities. Open source software is distributed to customers through a government or the enterprise channel. This demand creates jobs. There is a three or four-year demand for programmers with open source experience. Foreign investors need local partners to develop and reach open source customers. Text from

Sam Ramji, Microsoft gave the third keynote on his company’s vision for Open Source. Companies are cutting their IT spending in half but not to the bone. Accountants are making IT decisions and not engineers. They are looking at open source to cut costs. To be picked, your product or service should use easily recognized industry standards. Strategic projects continue. Continued development during this downturn will make it easier to benefit when things improve. Microsoft wants to make it easier for open source developers to work with them. Text from

Michael Fauscette of IDC moderated panelists Adam Blum of Rhomobile and Jack Repenning of CollabNet on the topic “Is There Still Open in Open Source?” These are the questions you should ask. Do you publish your bugs and fixes online? Is your community open to lively constructive debate? Is it growing? Are there people staying for long periods creating solutions? Are posting to SourceForge? Are putting documents on Wiki? Are you creating an open source brand with a standard license? Text from

Mark Radcliffe of DLA Piper moderated panelists Andrew Braccia of Accel Partners, Robert Theis of Scale Venture Partners, Tim Guleri of Sierra Ventures and Peter Sonsini of NEA on the topic “Where Is The Money?” There are fewer mergers and acquisitions and virtually no IPOs. There will be a shake out of venture firms with some disappearing. There will be opportunities for unique open source solutions in cloud computing for companies targeting existing big markets. Build monetization by controlling as much as you can in a market that is out of control. Text from

Open source can reduce cost and risk and increase opportunity in uncertain times because of its increased acceptance by developers, investors, governments and customers. Text from


Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.