Marten Mickos once (mildly) complained about the Open Source Business Conference, suggesting that it was good for vendors but needed more customers. I heard the same thing from Red Hat and other would-be sponsors. Back then, of course, the market wasn't buying as much open source as it was selling.
My what a difference three years makes. Last year we had attendees from MIT, Christian Science Monitor, AllianceBernstein, E*Trade, H&R Block, Sony, Boise Cascade, and many others. This year that IT contingent keeps swelling.
I'm starting to get really excited about the upcoming OSBC. The website doesn't yet show it, but we're quickly pulling together the best assemblage of open-source firepower on the planet. It turns out that there are a lot of people qualified to speak on the topic of "Putting Open Source to Work," OSBC 2008's theme.
Here are a few of the confirmed speakers:
- Steve Pearson, vice president, Advanced Technology, CBS Interactive
- Jon Williams, chief technology officer, Kaplan
- Brad Smith, general counsel, Microsoft
- Matthew Mengerink, vice president, Core Technologies, PayPal
- Mark Shuttleworth, founder and chief executive officer, Canonical/Ubuntu
- R0ml Lefkowitz, chief information architect, Asurion
- Satish Dharmaraj, chief executive officer, Zimbra
- Dan Agrinow, chief technology officer, The Weather Channel Interactive
- Marten Mickos, chief executive officer, MySQL
- Peter Fenton, managing director, Benchmark Capital
- John Roberts, chief executive officer, SugarCRM
- Larry Augustin, board member for SugarCRM, Fonality, Hyperic, Pentaho, etc.
- Stephen O'Grady, analyst, Redmonk
- Mark Radcliffe, partner, DLA Piper Rudnick LLP
- Jacob Harris and Derek Gottfrid, senior developers, New York Times
- Andrew Updegrove, partner, Gesmer Updegrove LLP
- And more...
Notice the IT executives on tap to speak? We'll have many more to be added to the program over the coming weeks. If you haven't submitted a proposal yet, please be sure to do so quickly, as we'll be settling on the final agenda before Christmas.
By way of reminder, your proposal is much more likely to be accepted if you are within enterprise IT (or IT of some form), or if your session includes someone that fits that description. We want to hear how real-world enterprises are adopting open source. Even on the sell-side (vendor), I don't want to hear about strategy in the absence of real customer stories.
It will be the best, most informative OSBC ever. You will make it so.