[Linux-aus] Help with a political approach to Open Source please :)

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Thu Oct 6 18:58:01 UTC 2005

On Thu, Oct 06, 2005 at 07:52:45PM +1000, Pia Waugh wrote:
> Hi Mary,
> <quote who="Mary Gardiner">
> > Out of curiosity, why are the Nationals not considered of interest?
> I've already had someone suggest a few Nationals to add to the list. I was
> still in early phase and hadn't considered them :) They are now on the list.

You take the high-road, I'll take the low...

While you're covering the political sphere, we'll look at the public
servants who are tasked with getting small businesses (old and new) online
and help set them up with business software.

One of my colleagues here at Cybersource has spent most of the past two
months making contact with all the the state-wide Business Enterprise
Centres (BECs). These are either staffed or funded by the state
government(s) and some by the federal government.

During this time, he has established a relationship with several dozen BEC
co-ordinators and introduced them to what is available in the FOSS space.

As you can imagine, this wasn't an easy task. Most of them were very
wary of anyone claiming offers of products, free or not. In most instances 
it took upwards of 6 calls to establish the level of trust needed for them 
to proceed further.

Almost none of these people had heard of open source software and many
were absolutely amazed and excited with what was on offer, at zero cost,
to their constituents. Many of these BEC co-ordinators have a catchment
area of over 500 businesses per year. 

We estimate our material and information package has a chance of reaching
15,000 businesses through this new conduit. Combined with the fact that
this is all greenfields territory, where no-one knows FOSS exists, this is
a major opportunity to reach beyond the 'usual crowd' and inform.

To give you an idea of the level of volunteer effort involved, I estimate
150 hours has been spent on preparing material, cold-calling, responding
to concerns and talking to this group of public servants. While the task
is getting easier, and more and more of them are prepared to listen and
trust us as word gets around, I estimate another three months' effort is
needed to complete this project and reach the remaining centres around the

Also this week, we're starting the process of contacting individual 
schools and school boards (Catholic, independent, public) to establish a 
relationship with their IT teaching staff and get them interested in the 
LiveLAMP project:


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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