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Re: [libreoffice-marketing] Article on Datamation website: "How Microsoft Office Tops LibreOffice: 11 Features"
- Subject: Re: [libreoffice-marketing] Article on Datamation website: "How Microsoft Office Tops LibreOffice: 11 Features"
- From: Ian Lynch <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 11:39:05 +0100
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
On 27 April 2012 10:19, Robert Ryley <email@example.com> wrote:
> First, thank you for answering my question without being defensive.
> These are valid concerns on all sides of the issue.
> So this is a problem of vendors not being able to generate trust among
> clients. This isn't unusual. That is the challenge of trying to
> catch up to a perceived market leader.
> Again, it begs the question; if a client does not trust a vendor, why
> should it trust some anonymous "certifying" body?
They might if the certification body has a reputation for independence and
objectivity. The evidence is in the hundreds of millions of certifications
that take place from licenses to practice to partnership endorsements.
> These are things
> that people say to make salespeople go away.
> Certification doesn't really solve this issue. Finding what the
> hidden objections are, developing an unambiguous specification
> that satisfy these objections, and providing proof of correct
> implementation, do address them.
> > At least in Europe -but I also know it took place in other parts of the
> > world such as Asia- you had IT companies pretending to be experts in
> > OpenOffice.org migrations that were able to win tenders and actually
> > never executed on the parts relevant to the expertise around
> > OpenOffice.org.
> > At the same time there was a clear call from smaller IT companies to
> > gain some status and transparence on who in the business was doing what.
> > Some modest attempts to that happened during these years, but they were
> > clearly insufficient. But anyway you looked at this, the feedback from
> > customers and suppliers was clear: the ecosystem just was not able to
> > grow despite clear (and growing) demand and vendor/service provider
> > certification was requested.
> Were these vendors actual contributors to the codebase, market
> research, or documentation? I still don't see how
> "certification" will make dishonest people honest.
Certification makes it more likely that the person you are dealing with is
honest because the certification can be removed - that implies having a
robust complaints procedure and systems for dealing with them.
> LO is a *free* product. Buyers can have technically competent staff
> install and test the product for themselves. Part of the value added
> strategy is to develop the specification *with* the buyer, and address
> needs they do not see.
And someone certificated would give a third party more confidence that they
are able to do that. If the third part is going to be say IBM it probably
doesn't matter. For a small business it probably will make more difference.
> Now to your other question: should TDF focus on code development and
> > extensions? Well it could and it is essentially what it is doing these
> > days. But honestly we need to grow our reach and fix the mess that
> > years of OpenOffice.org interaction with business was not able to deal
> > with. You seem to be wary of TDF making a profit here;
> Absolutely not. I have *no* problems with anyone making a profit.
We have had this from some quarters. There is a lot of risk involved and it
is difficult to "break even" - better to have a surplus than a loss and
then the surplus can be put into code development, marketing etc.
> For all my complaints on this issue, the TDF does good work, and I
> want to see it succeed. It could make more money with less effort by
> raising cash to incentivize other developers to open source their
> extensions into the codebase.
That could well be true. OTOH where is the evidence? Our business sustains
some FOSS development and a lot of FOSS advocacy with good prospects of
significant growth. I guess a lot depends on using expertise to its best
Ie. Suppose I develop a voice activated, context editor for LO. I can
> sell the extension to those who want it, and keep the source private.
> I could also sell the extension, keep the source private until some
> threshhold amount is raised, and the TDF gets a percentage of it, I
> get the rest, and release the source code.
We already have the infrastructure well developed for certification. It
seems to me that on this one TDF wants to do it themselves which is fair
enough. Would TDF philosophy fit with closing source code even for a fixed
period? Not sure.
There are other ways to raise revenue from vendors of LO extensions
> and support that do not suffer from the drawbacks of the certification
Why not do both? The certification model if implemented properly has the
potential to fund the entire project. I did the research and convinced some
pretty hard nosed financial backers. Maybe you could do the same for
This particular aspect of the plan galls me:
> "Certification will be attributed to individuals who have demonstrated
> their skills by participating to the community, or who have followed a
> certification training and have passed the final test. Certification
> will last for 24 calendar months from the time of the test, and will
> be renewed for another 24 months by following another certification
> training and passing the relevant test before (three months) or after
> (three months) the expiration date.
> The fee for the certification renewal will be 25% lower than the full
> certification fee. Individuals who will not follow the training or who
> will fail the test will lose the certified status, and will have to go
> through the entire certification process (including the payment of the
> full certification fee)"
> I will provide support via code, documentation, marketing, promotion,
> and fund raising OR I will provide money. I *will not* pay to work
> for free.
Hm, sort of see your point but this is similar to an internship model where
the future benefits outweigh the investment in costs and time. I'm not
saying I think this is a good model, just that it has some track record.
Personally, I think the volume is in end users, not developer or systems
integrators. On volume you can make it very low cost and still get a decent
return. Niches mean you have to charge more and so there is a significant
barrier to entry, particularly for those already competent who are likely
to just say who cares? It might even discourage developer participation. So
bit of a risky strategy. High volume, low cost so people don't mind paying
a small amount to get their skills recognised. Bottom of the pyramid stuff
rather than top. Read up on the principles of disruptive innovation.
>TDF is indeed not for profit -but does it mean it is for loss? Clearly,
> if we ever
> > make profits from certification (something I'm not sure of) it will at
> > least create resources we are in dire need of. We need funds for
> > infrastructure, marketing on a global level and many other things.
> I agree with this, but it is rather self-defeating to go around and
> spread a marketing message that implies people who are not "certified"
> in LO, but actively help develop and contribute to it, are
> Some arguments against certifications:
> IT Certifications are Worthless
> Do Certifications Matter
> License My Dog, but not Me
> Top 10 Problems with IT Certifications
But equally, ECDL/ICDL (Not for profit :-) ) probably makes 100 million
Euros a year. Think what LO could be with that sort of revenue.
Unfortunately, it won't come from a model of certificating coders.
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