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Think Global, Act Local

Open Solutions Alliance first anniversary

This first anniversary of the founding of the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA) is a cause for celebration. February 2007 witnessed a coming together of leading open source companies from around the world, dedicating themselves to improving interoperability among software products. Our non-profit, vendor-neutral consortium was founded with a clear aim in mind: to drive the interoperability of comprehensive open solutions to help integrate and rapidly deploy solutions for business users. Through cooperative action and advocacy, over the past 12 months the OSA has taken its first significant steps to reduce barriers to adoption and raise the awareness of open solutions in business.

Technological innovations over the past year include the August launch of the OSA’s interoperability prototype, offering specific standards and best practices for delivering a Common Customer View (CCV) across open applications. Last November saw the OSA hosting the Philadelphia Customer Forum, the fourth in the association’s customer forums focused on helping technology professionals take advantage of the ever-widening market for open software solutions.

Given the size of the U.S. software market, it is wholly understandable that much of the association’s initiatives have had a North American focus. However, as the OSA moves into its second year, it’s time to think about the idiosyncrasies of different markets. Though smaller than the U.S. in terms of overall software revenue, Europe is one of the most advanced open source markets worldwide and represents a considerable opportunity for forward-thinking companies.

As such, the OSA recently announced plans to expand the organization’s global footprint, opening its first regional chapter to address the European market.

The European Open Source Contribution
Pierre Audoin Conseil, a Paris-based analyst firm, recently reported that the French market for open source software reached 730 million euros in 2007, a leap of 66 percent from the previous year. Gartner Research, meanwhile, is forecasting that open source software adoption rates will continue to increase across Europe at the expense of proprietary software. For these reasons alone, it is vital for open source companies to work together to maximize the opportunities for open solutions in the European market.

Europe has made important contributions to the Open Source movement. In Sweden, MySQL recently broke the record for the acquisition price of an open source startup, when Federal antitrust regulators cleared Sun Microsystems’s $1 billion purchase of the open source software developer. Several successful Linux distributions originated in Europe, and a large number of global open source players, such as OSA members Onepoint, Openbravo and Talend, also have European roots.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s enforcement of antitrust sanctions against Microsoft and the EU’s continuing resistance to software patents provide a legal framework in which open source can continue to thrive.

More Stories By Josep Mitjà

Josep Mitjà is chief operating officer of Openbravo. He is in charge of Openbravo's operations, leading the partner services capabilities within the firm. In this capacity, he is currently focused on the development of the relationship with partners, with the goal of spreading the usage of Openbravo's platform and enabling a truly differential, sustainable, and profitable business model for partners. Josep also serves on the board on the Open Solutions Alliance, an international organization that aims to promote the use of open source in the enterprise and facilitate the interoperability among the leading open solutions.

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