*Management Office Mission Report - Italy - April and June 2008
Summary of the meetings*
OW2 Management Office: Cedric Thomas (OW2)
Participating OW2 Member: Gabriele Ruffatti (Engineering)
- University of Milan
- Information Technology Department
- University of Trento ? Many Departments (IT)
- Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK)
- Regione Toscana (Tuscany Regional Government ? IT dept.)
- Regione Emilia (Emilia Regional Government ? different IT depts), involving other local PAs and IT suppliers such as: Bologna Municipality, Provincia di Bologna (Bologna Department), Copparo, Rimini, Reggio Emilia, San Lazzaro di Savena, Modena Municipalities, Cesena and Ferrara Public Healthcare Companies, Lepida spa
- Micos Banca
- Telecom Italia
Description and Lesson Learned
All know about OSS and are involved in EU Founded Research Projects. Interest more for researchers than for students. Their do not really tend to release the results in open source in forges nor, generally to manage the results at the end of the specific research project. They also seek to retain IP rights (or use protective license). However for them, the community aspect of open source is important; in this respect, for instance, they have the highest opinion of Apache. FBK is involved in projects for Public Administration, with a special focus on interoperability. They all are using SpagoBI and Spagic.
Results: University of Milan and FBK probably could join, University of Trento is thinking to release a project in a Forge, probably OW2. U of Milan did participate in the OW2 Grenoble Quarterly Meeting.
Comments: The aim of Academia is to expand their current international network or to enter in EU Research Projects. We could have the results of their projects in open source license on the OW2 Forge, but they are will not be able nor committed to support them. Relationship with Academia could be managed by Initiatives and Local Chapters.
Toscana and Emilia are the Italian Regional Governments more focused on open source. The meetings were held for OW2 dissemination and awareness. They are looking for: a) well supported applications with good market recognition (for instance they mention Liferay, Alfresco, Pentaho which they either use or are evaluating), b) free of fees or low-cost solutions, and c) practical help, customization and support for specific needs
Results: low membership opportunity because of poor motivation, lack of practical results, long-term approach.
Comments: If we want to have Italian (or in general) Public Administrations (PAs) in the Consortium, we must find the right key. Some ideas to be verified if valuable and useful or not could include a specific Initiative for PAs (or Local PAs) to open a user network in order to share common needs and opportunities (at European level?) or OW2 to organize (or co-organize with IDABC for instance or other) a PA Forum to understand better their specific needs.
The target should be ?new and dynamic? little banks (two other banks in Italy are probably interested to have a similar meeting). Their interest in open source come from their need to:
- implement pragmatic approach (i.e. to reduce costs)
- have solid information about open source (learn more, join a real open source international observatory)
- have support to build a long-term strategy.
A real working, active and reactive Community is important
Results: Moderate membership opportunity: they would start by having a look at the solution, it is a long-term approach
Comments: Implementing a ?Finance? open source network correlated to OW2 could be a long-term opportunity.
Every enterprise has it own peculiarities, they know about open source, some even already have developed their own internal open source projects (Telecom). Strong attention to, and focus on their own needs (not Community needs) Priority is pragmatic approach (again, reduce costs), market recognition of both the solutions and the community is key decision factor. The interest in open source is mainly with IT manager and architects, not at top-management level. They understand that Initiatives are the OW2 differentiator compared to other OS Communities.
Results: iLong-term membership opportunity: they must obtain consensus at top-management level not easy to have. Big organization seems to be not very reactive.
Comments: A follow-up is necessary with a focus on what OW2 can do for the specific market
Gabriele: OW2 is mainly focus on software and needs of software developments (manly ISVs or SMEs). Poor focus on users? needs. If we want to enlarge the community to users we must:
- give a special attention to users? needs, depending on the categories they belong (eg.: PAs, Industry depending on the market sector, ?.)
- start specific Users Initiatives or Focus Groups
- insert in the communication tools a specific track about users? needs
- go beyond success stories on the site (still poor), advertising on how OW2 code-base successfully support specific market or users sectors)
Cedric: From the point of view of OW2, the following end-user needs seem relevant:
- to open source an internal project
- to select OSS they can support by themselves
- to motivate internal development an production teams
- to facilitate recruitment
- to define an open source policy
- to organize their open source strategy
- to understand open source better
- to develop their own vision of open source
- to develop an open source culture
- to access technical expertise
- to exchange, share experience
- to minimize disruption caused by open source
- to lower their costs
- to optimize support
- to promote open source, etc