Yes, the 'magic spell' is an anomaly to get to terms with.
I like the analogy of Macdonald's being the most popular 'restaurant' in
the world. Many people are happy to eat there because of brand identity,
convenience and global consistency (you know what to expect and get it
consistently at any location). Mix that in with addictive sauces,
advertising and happy meals and they become a global leader, regardless
of the quality of their product. (Not that FOSS should be striving to be
the Macdonald's of IT! )
As far as IT is concerned, I think that consistency and availability are
the key factors in presenting F(L)OSS as a feasible product to SMB's.
This is the 'foot in the door'.
All the (non IT) SMB's I have been involved in/with over the years focus
on their core business and want IT which 'just works' reliably and fast
support when it does not. Usually the task of managing this is assigned
to a technically minded staff member on top of their regular role. I
have preesented the OpenPoint front page to these people. A clear,
simple language range of things you can do with your IT.
What it needs is the weight of a connected network of people and
businesses (such as yourself) across Ireland behind it. The framework
for this is in the about/people section. This will make good on the
promise of availability. This community of people/businesses working
around an agreed and documented set of products/technologies will make
good on consistency (but still allow room for innovation). The
documentation system is there for this purpose (community/documentation)
This is the idea anyway. The delivery can be improved and fine-tuned as
things evolve. There is a lot to be put in place before this is an
enticing (and not just an enticing sounding) option for SMB's!
On 26/03/12 09:09, Ralph wrote:
>> Michael Jonker wrote:
>> it's logic runs as follows:
>>> 'Provide a comprehensive, easy to engage with, single point of IT
>> service for SMB's interested in using FOSS'
>> I stongly support your view of better co-operation between opensource
> support professionals, to prevent SMEs from seeking shelter in the
> 'Microsoft certified' route. For this to happen we need to bring clear
> concepts in front of the eyes of SME owners, that show the benefits
> for their business operations in a compelling and understandable way.
>> For instance, over the last few months I've developed the web encryption
> extension, an open source software that can extend every online
> application with the encrypt button using GnuPG for encryption on the
> server. For the business owner, that means anything that is currently
> sending or storing information in clear text can easily modified
> so that the user can encrypt it (on the server) with the push of a
>> This GPLed software can make many things more secure in a business, it
> just had to be used.
>> But even if there are tested, reliable solutions, that does not mean that
> anyone takes notice, and here we have to invent a way forward that
> works, co-operation being a (little) first step, but not the magic
> spell to
> break the ignorance.
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