I've been at the Open Source Meets Business Congress this week in Nuremberg, Germany. My talk about OpenLogic went very well, especially the Q&A session.
The audience validated my thinking that Europeans, in general, are less interested in indemnification and more interested in our support model and especially our Expert Community concept.
They were very happy to hear that we're involved with many different Open Source communities and contribute bug reports, patches, and even cash donations. They also very much liked the fact that we pay our Expert Community members and therefore give back in an even more direct fashion to the community.
I think what they liked most, however, is that we've always been and continue to be a good Open Source citizen. Our developers contribute to a number of projects, our enterprise customers submit patches (typically through us), and we do our best to make sure all sides come out ahead in every interaction. Of course, the managers in the room also like the fact that they only need to call one number, 888-OpenLogic, to have all of their Open Source support needs handled, however we manage to do it.
It was also a great show for connecting with current and future partners. Lots of Open Source players are here: OpenLogic, Black Duck, Palamida, SpikeSource, JasperSoft, Alfresco, Compiere, Innoopract, etc. It's nice when you can talk to a ton of people in your space without leaving a building.
BTW, I'd never been to Germany before (or even Europe for that matter), but I can honestly say that I really love it. It probably helps that we had a reception in the Kaiserburg, a 13th century castle overlooking Nuremberg. I don't typically have hors d'oeuvres with a hundred or so people in suits while surrounded by suits of armor and halberds, but I could get used to it. The people are amazingly helpful and friendly, even when they don't speak very much English and you only speak about 3 weeks worth of German (mostly from a travel phrasebook). I highly recommend checking it out - it's Sehr Gut!
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