[Osia-discuss] Re: [Linux-aus] MEDIA RELEASE: Open Source Industry Australia - National Body Launched

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Tue Mar 2 06:56:02 UTC 2004

On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 11:37:35PM +1100, Del wrote:
> >There is already a very close inter-operation between the various groups. 
> >I don't see any advantage in wielding heavy paperwork machinery.
> As long as there's some kind of understanding in place.  I see
> a potential for each group to tread on the others' toes, even
> if only being seen to do so in the marketplace.

Don't worry about it. There is a very strong combination of links
intertwining AUUG, LA & OSIA. Think of them as different facets of the one
desire to make open platforms the norm in our industry. 

As previously stated, OSIA can add very little additional value to IT
professionals working in this area, (AUUG & ACS cover these) nor can it
add anything of use on the technical or community front (LA, LUGs and AUUG
cover these well) OSIA's main focus is on presenting the business case for
FOSS to government and for making each of our member firms a success in
the market.

> >>The topic of installfests and/or commercial Linux trade shows has been
> >>bantered about the community again (I just posted to the SLUG activities
> >>list on it).  Is this something that LA and OSIA can work together on?
> >
> >Installfests are very much an LA/LUG/AUUG thing. It's something they know,
> >understand and have experience in. We're happy to assist/advertise/market
> >any such event and encourage OSIA members who are not already LA/LUG/AUUG
> >members to volunteer assistance.
> I'm not talking about the type of home user LUG based installfest.
> Here's what Microsoft do (having seen them do it).
> Grab a group of 20 or so IT managers, IT support staff, tech
> types.  Get around a table.  Install the latest Windows XP/200*
> pre-release or whatever on a bunch of machines, and explain
> the features.  Go through setting up ADS, replicating LDAP
> services around the network, setting up DNS and DHCP, etc.
> Do some sales pitch.

I couldn't see many IT managers being too interested in the minutae of AD
configs or XP rollouts demos. Technical IT practitioners maybe. 

We have to keep in mind some very specific points here:

1) Microsoft have a cash hoard a billion times that available to OSIA to
run these events. If there are capable OSIA volunteers in various states
who are happy to prepare and present such presentations, then OSIA can
back this activity. Never underestimate the effort involved in running
just one of these events however, and the potential to do more harm than
good unless it's a slickly-smooth presentation and a quality presenter.

2) OSIA has member firms which actually do training in these areas, so we
need to be mindful of not undermine their position in this space through
free training.

> It's an effective tactic, and not one I think the LUGs are
> appropriately staffed to deal with.  It's something that could
> be done in the guise of an installfest, however on an entirely
> different scale and with a different target audience.

Understood. Can you give me an indication of who (names, organsations) you
would envisage to take part in such an audience?

> >OSIA is presently not incorporated. It may become incorporated if its 
> >members decided that that is a good idea at some time in the future. 
> Personally I have issues dealing with unincorporated associations.


I can demonstrate the reverse with the organisation I know best, by way of
counter-example. OSV is not incorporated. In fact, our state government
minders recommended we did not incorporate, as too much money and effort
would need to go into such a venture, with probably zero payback for the
group. OSV has had a string of successes in pushing FOSS into business,
government and education in Victoria. No one at any stage has asked if we
were incorporated, nor does anyone seem to care.

> It's the reason I haven't felt the need to be involved with
> http://www.oic.org/ and their Linux/Open Source seminar series.

OIC are johny-come-latelys who ask for serious money for membership fees
and have no real credibility in this space. The core group which founded
OSIA has amongst them an average 5 year history of working in the business
advocacy of FOSS. Also OSIA doesn't ask for thousands of dollars from
members, so there's minimal risk to you.

> Apart from the fact that it appeared to be a self-promotion
> exercise on the part of the organisers (who were obviously trying
> to sell something).
> However I'll raise it as an issue when the time comes.
> And I'm unwilling to see OSIA just fold when people have achieved
> the goal of gaining greater Linux acceptance in the marketplace.

I guess that would be up to the group at that time. Obviously, if there's
a groundwell of interest in keeping it going, so be it. However, I think
our best possible exit-strategy is that in 2010 (a mere 6 years away) we
will no longer need to exist, as FOSS will be omnipresent and totally
accepted by industry & government, as a fundamental and viable platform.

> I've felt for a long time that there's needed to be an industry
> body of this type, and NSW doesn't have an equivalent of OSV
> or SLPWA.

Fair call. OSIA is indeed the vehicle through which to run NSW, QLD, TAS, 
ACT & NT FOSS business activities through.

Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne, Australia 
Cybersource: Australia's Leading Linux and Open Source Solutions Company 
Web: http://www.cyber.com.au/  Phone: 03 9621 2377   Fax: 03 9621 2477

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