The event, aptly named "Zentyal Summit 2012 - Talking Linux to Small Businesses," presumably owes its location to the fact that Zentyal is based in Spain. All the same, the event appears aimed at all commercial organizations -- not only those in regions where IT ecosystems are still developing, and in which Linux doesn't face the steep uphill battle against entrenched proprietary platforms that it does in the United States and western Europe.
The event will be held on Oct. 4 and 5, 2012. The full preliminary program is available here, and participants can register for free here.
The State of Linux in BusinessInterested readers can check out Zentyal's website themselves for details on the summit. But here's what the event reveals about the state of Linux in the business world, and where it might be headed in the future:
First, the summit exemplifies the kind of collaboration within the open source channel -- even among organizations that are at least partially in competition with one another -- that is becoming increasingly important as the ecosystem pools its resources against proprietary competitors. The event is sponsored, obviously, by Zentyal, which develops a Linux distribution tailored at small-business servers. But it also includes talks from representatives of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, as well as open source groupware developer Zarafa. Both of those organizations vie, in part, for the same customers as Zentyal, yet they are all working together for the summit.
Meanwhile, perhaps the most noticeable presentation on the program is by Tom Henrikkson of Open Ocean Capital, a new venture capital firm focused on European open source startups. Henrikkson will deliver a keynote address about what it takes to build a successful open source company.
The kind of analysis and resources that organizations such as Open Ocean Capital promise to the open source world could become vital in the future, particularly when it comes to Linux and business. Traditionally, most open source innovation has been funded either by the deep pockets of staunch Free Software ideologues such as Mark Shuttleworth, or by existing major corporations such as Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) or Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), to name just a couple of examples.
Yet what the open source channel arguably needs more than that kind of financial backing is easier access to capital for funding promising independent projects that comes with no corporate strings attached. And that's what organizations such as Open Ocean Capital could help deliver.
If the upcoming Zentyal Summit says anything about the current position of Linux in the business world, then, it's that collaboration and capital are key. If the open source channel can get those factors right, it just may have a chance at winning more marketshare even in developed markets.