Google Open Source Australia
Google is working with three major IT consulting firms to launch an open source software blitz in Australia, The VAR Guy has learned. An event is planned for November 7 at Google's Australia headquarters in Sydney. Details about the effort are still emerging but here's the early scoop from The VAR Guy.

An invite sent to selected members of Australia's IT community states:
We are pleased to invite you to the official launch of Australia's first open source business cluster.  The cluster’s objectives are to:

  • Provide business and Government with a single point of contact for access to vendors offering consulting, development and support of open source solutions.
  • Inform business and Government on how to leverage off open source technologies to achieve greater value for money, higher quality software and fit to need outcomes.
  • Encourage open source companies to collaborate with the objective to promote and grow the open source industry.

Taking the Stage

Hmmm. Sounds interesting. But it gets extra interesting when you look at the event's speaker lineup.
  • Grant Allen, from Google Headquarters in Sydney as the Keynote speaker
  • Maria Padisetti, CEO, Digital Armour Corporation, a major IT consulting firm
  • Paul Robinson, director, Syntonic Corporation Pty Ltd, an IT consulting firm in North Sydney
  • Dylan Jay, technical solutions manager at PretaWeb Pty Ltd, which offers consulting and development services for Plone -- an open source content management system
This is not another Linux event, folks. Allen is a well-known expert on numerous databases, including MySQL -- the fast-growing open source option. And the stakes are high for open source in Australia.

Small Business Server, Big Opportunities

During a series of managed services events this week in Australia, The VAR Guy heard how Microsoft remains firmly entrenched in the land down under.

Sure, Linux-based Netbooks are hot sellers in Australia. But one source tells our resident blogger that Microsoft frequently uses the Australia market to beta test sales techniques and software launches because the country is so darn loyal to Redmond.

Need further proof? Australia has the largest per capita use of Microsoft Windows Small Business Server in the world, according to one source in the know.

Now, Google and its partners hope to break Microsoft's stranglehold down under. The effort starts November 7.

The VAR Guy and the Nine Lives Media Inc. editorial team are blogging live from Australia October 26 through 31, while participating in a series of local managed services conferences. Note: The VAR Guy is updated multiple times daily. Don’t miss a single post. Subscribe to his newsletter, RSS and Twitter feed.