What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

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What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

MJ Ray-2
Dear fellow consultants,

You may have noticed in the bits from the GPL for January 2012
http://lists.debian.org/msgid-search/20120204115120.GA17611@...
that a debian-companies list is being created for large companies.

I've suggested to the Debian Project Leader that Small and Medium
Enterprises outnumber large companies by 99 to 1 and that SMEs
probably inform debian consultants of their problems, rather than
approaching the DPL directly.  Do you think that's right?

If so, I've three key questions for you:

1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?

2. what could the debian project offer to consultants to help you
to help more companies to use debian more?

3. who's reading this list these days?

And here's my answer to 3: I'm MJ Ray, I'm a far-too-idle debian
developer who works as part of software.coop, which started out in
2002 managing servers and developing web sites for private companies
and now does that, plus library catalogues and groupware for all sorts
of enterprises.  I'd like to do more for debian again, but I have to
make a business case for it and maybe this discussion will help...

Thanks,
--
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My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Michael Richardson-5

>>>>> "MJ" == MJ Ray <[hidden email]> writes:
    MJ> Dear fellow consultants,

    MJ> You may have noticed in the bits from the GPL for January 2012
    MJ> http://lists.debian.org/msgid-search/20120204115120.GA17611@...
    MJ> that a debian-companies list is being created for large
    MJ> companies.

    MJ> I've suggested to the Debian Project Leader that Small and
    MJ> Medium Enterprises outnumber large companies by 99 to 1 and that
    MJ> SMEs probably inform debian consultants of their problems,
    MJ> rather than approaching the DPL directly.  Do you think that's
    MJ> right?

    MJ> If so, I've three key questions for you:

    MJ> 1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?

1) Fear of being fired for not having bought "IBM"
   I note that IBM doesn't sell Debian/Ubuntu, even if they sell GNU/Linux.

2) Lack of availability of low-cost Debian aware consultants, who have
   access to "big guns" when they get into trouble.

    MJ> 3. who's reading this list these days?

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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Alexander Hu-2
In reply to this post by MJ Ray-2
> >>>>> "MJ" == MJ Ray <[hidden email]> writes:
>     MJ> Dear fellow consultants,
>
>     MJ> 3. who's reading this list these days?

Pretty much people ;-)


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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Raphael Hertzog-3
In reply to this post by MJ Ray-2
Hi,

On Thu, 16 Feb 2012, MJ Ray wrote:
> I've suggested to the Debian Project Leader that Small and Medium
> Enterprises outnumber large companies by 99 to 1 and that SMEs
> probably inform debian consultants of their problems, rather than
> approaching the DPL directly.  Do you think that's right?

Partly yes, I also believe that many companies are more likely to start
with a contractor rather than hire Debian developers. Also consultants
are perfect to train in-house persons that can then become Debian
developers...

> 2. what could the debian project offer to consultants to help you
> to help more companies to use debian more?

I often needs partners and it would be nice if I could trust all the
persons being listed in the consultants list. It would be nice to have
more information such as the area of expertise and the sort of missions
that one is looking for (and have the list up-to-date).

I would also benefit from some sort of FAQ where we can grab ideas
to argue the case of Debian to my customers.

> 3. who's reading this list these days?

Me. I'm running http://www.freexian.com as a consulting company
specialized in Debian.

Cheers,
--
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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Ritesh Raj Sarraf-4
In reply to this post by MJ Ray-2
On Thursday 16 February 2012 11:05 PM, MJ Ray wrote:
>
> If so, I've three key questions for you:
>
> 1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?
Lack of "Enterprise" Support. So what is enterprise support?

Typically, back-porting of items that interest the enterprise.
Similarly, inclusion of items that interest the enterprise. Items could
be: Code, Patches, New Features etc.

>
> 2. what could the debian project offer to consultants to help you
> to help more companies to use debian more?
Can Debian be listed under various [HS]CLs of these vendors? They need a
single body to talk to and try to influence their interest. And that
doesn't always align with Debian's interest.

>
> 3. who's reading this list these days?
>
> And here's my answer to 3: I'm MJ Ray, I'm a far-too-idle debian
> developer who works as part of software.coop, which started out in
> 2002 managing servers and developing web sites for private companies
> and now does that, plus library catalogues and groupware for all sorts
> of enterprises.  I'd like to do more for debian again, but I have to
> make a business case for it and maybe this discussion will help...
>
What we've done for Debian and other similar projects is provide a
self-help model. http://linux.netapp.com

--
Ritesh Raj Sarraf | http://people.debian.org/~rrs
Debian - The Universal Operating System



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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Michelle Konzack-2
Hello Ritesh Raj Sarraf,

Am 2012-02-17 21:56:29, hacktest Du folgendes herunter:
> On Thursday 16 February 2012 11:05 PM, MJ Ray wrote:
> > 1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?
> Lack of "Enterprise" Support. So what is enterprise support?

I do not agree with this, because I work in Strasbourg (France) and Kehl
(Germany) and do exactly this...

> Typically, back-porting of items that interest the enterprise.
> Similarly, inclusion of items that interest the enterprise. Items could
> be: Code, Patches, New Features etc.

Preparing Debian-CDs with special setup to install  a  whole  enterprise
from scratch (fit entirely on 2 CDs)

Also I have my own Debian mirror with the backports they need.

Also I know arround 20 other Debian-Consultants  which  do  exactly  the
same as me.

Thanks, Greetings and nice Day/Evening
    Michelle Konzack

--
##################### Debian GNU/Linux Consultant ######################
   Development of Intranet and Embedded Systems with Debian GNU/Linux
               Internet Service Provider, Cloud Computing
                <http://www.itsystems.tamay-dogan.net/>
                  <http://www.debian.tamay-dogan.net/>

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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Michelle Konzack-2
In reply to this post by MJ Ray-2
Hello MJ Ray,

Am 2012-02-16 17:35:47, hacktest Du folgendes herunter:
> 1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?

RedHat, Novel/SuSE, Mandriva and maybe Canonical, do active publicity of
there services.

Not the Debian Project.

I think, because Debian has no commercial  background  and  each  Debian
Consultant has to do its own stuff, Debian is lesser  popular.   Me  and
some other Debian Consultants offering full service,  but  unfortunately
no one know it.  I for my self have not the financial background  to  do
the "big" publicity, which mean, I work only local in a very  restricted
area.

> 2. what could the debian project offer to consultants to help you
> to help more companies to use debian more?

Maybe split the Debian Consultants List into categories whioch  services
they offer and what they do.

I think, it would be better, having a database driven Debian Consultants
page with tags for each consultant...

Note:  I am also offering Web- and Database-Hosting and I am specialised
       to PostgreSQL sind more then 10 years.  Also Intranet-Web-Design.

Such infos should be on the Debian Consultants page too, because  it  is
frustrating for a customer, to contact 10 Consultants and get  always  a
negative answer because he/she need a special service...

The Weblinks are OK, but if somone need a special service, he/she should
find it already on the Debian Consultants page by entering some keywords
in a search form

> 3. who's reading this list these days?

Me. Michelle Konzack, using Debian GNU/Linux since March 1999, and being
Debian Consultant since 2001 by starting customized  Intranet  Solutions
and today the whole service the Debian  Repository  can  offer,  except,
that I refuse to work with KDE/GNOME.

> And here's my answer to 3: I'm MJ Ray, I'm a far-too-idle debian
> developer who works as part of software.coop, which started out in
> 2002 managing servers and developing web sites for private companies
> and now does that, plus library catalogues and groupware for all sorts
> of enterprises.  I'd like to do more for debian again, but I have to
> make a business case for it and maybe this discussion will help...

You are very well known.  ;-)

> Thanks,

Thanks, Greetings and nice Day/Evening
    Michelle Konzack

--
##################### Debian GNU/Linux Consultant ######################
   Development of Intranet and Embedded Systems with Debian GNU/Linux
               Internet Service Provider, Cloud Computing
                <http://www.itsystems.tamay-dogan.net/>
                  <http://www.debian.tamay-dogan.net/>

itsystems@tdnet                     Jabber  [hidden email]
Owner Michelle Konzack

Gewerbe Strasse 3                   Tel office: +49-176-86004575
77694 Kehl                          Tel mobil:  +49-177-9351947
Germany                             Tel mobil:  +33-6-61925193  (France)

USt-ID:  DE 278 049 239

Linux-User #280138 with the Linux Counter, http://counter.li.org/

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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Toni Mueller-4
In reply to this post by Michelle Konzack-2

Hi Michelle,

On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 05:57:58PM +0100, Michelle Konzack wrote:
> Am 2012-02-17 21:56:29, hacktest Du folgendes herunter:
> > On Thursday 16 February 2012 11:05 PM, MJ Ray wrote:
> > > 1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?
> > Lack of "Enterprise" Support. So what is enterprise support?
> I do not agree with this, because I work in Strasbourg (France) and Kehl
> (Germany) and do exactly this...

I have to disagree with your assessment. Although most of us (me too)
can, do and will support SMEs in their use of Debian, at least MEs (>=
200 employees) will often not consider the small player, but go for a
bigger player like SerNet.

Those bigger shops rarely support Debian, but rather RedHat or SuSE.


I found it to be a problem that there is no so called "long term
support" version for Debian, and only days ago, a customer of mine
realized that the long term support for Ubuntu is most likely only a
paid option, not a free one. One other thing that I found crucial to
Debian adoption is that commercial packages are usually not certified
for Debian, but only for commercial distributions.

Don't argue - if the user wants (in my case) WebSphere, AutoCAD or
Varial, he might be unwilling to bet his >$100k investment on
experiments with an "unsupported platform", but goes with what the
vendor specified. There's also more often than not no point in arguing
that WebSphere might not be that much of a good idea in the first place,
and I'm pretty confident that the free software world has nothing to
match the other two packages.


Kind regards,
--Toni++


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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Michael Meskes
In reply to this post by Ritesh Raj Sarraf-4
On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 09:56:29PM +0530, Ritesh Raj Sarraf wrote:
> > 1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?
> Lack of "Enterprise" Support. So what is enterprise support?
>
> Typically, back-porting of items that interest the enterprise.
> Similarly, inclusion of items that interest the enterprise. Items could
> be: Code, Patches, New Features etc.

How about SLAs?

> > 2. what could the debian project offer to consultants to help you
> > to help more companies to use debian more?
> Can Debian be listed under various [HS]CLs of these vendors? They need a
> single body to talk to and try to influence their interest. And that
> doesn't always align with Debian's interest.

Actually I doubt that Debian's interests are the biggest hurdle. Where is that
body you need? And who's going to finance it?

Michael

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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Michael Meskes
In reply to this post by Toni Mueller-4
> I have to disagree with your assessment. Although most of us (me too)
> can, do and will support SMEs in their use of Debian, at least MEs (>=
> 200 employees) will often not consider the small player, but go for a
> bigger player like SerNet.
>
> Those bigger shops rarely support Debian, but rather RedHat or SuSE.

Well there are bigger players offering real support for Debian.

Michael
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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Toni Mueller-4
On 02/17/2012 09:06 PM, Michael Meskes wrote:
> Well there are bigger players offering real support for Debian.

Here in Germany, I am aware of four medium-sized companies offering
Debian support, including yours, and one big company (SerNet), who
should be doing it (but I'm not sure).

I didn't want to say that *no* bigger company offers Debian support, but
my overwhelming impression is that this is at least not well advertised,
and often disclaimed entirely (eg. last I spoke to someone from IBM or
Deutsche Telekom). And then, there is still the question of
certification for applications.

Please prove me wrong.


TIA!


Kind regards,
--Toni++


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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Michael Meskes
On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 09:18:41PM +0100, Toni Müller wrote:
> Here in Germany, I am aware of four medium-sized companies offering
> Debian support, including yours, and one big company (SerNet), who
> should be doing it (but I'm not sure).

I think you're mixing something up or we have different opinions about how big
is "big".

> I didn't want to say that *no* bigger company offers Debian support, but
> my overwhelming impression is that this is at least not well advertised,
> and often disclaimed entirely (eg. last I spoke to someone from IBM or
> Deutsche Telekom). And then, there is still the question of

Do you want to say these two offer support for Debian?

> certification for applications.

Sure, I didn't deny that at all.

> Please prove me wrong.

In which regard?

Michael
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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Toni Mueller-4
Hi,

On 02/17/2012 11:26 PM, Michael Meskes wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 09:18:41PM +0100, Toni Müller wrote:
>> Here in Germany, I am aware of four medium-sized companies offering
>> Debian support, including yours, and one big company (SerNet), who
>> should be doing it (but I'm not sure).
>
> I think you're mixing something up or we have different opinions about how big
> is "big".

I'm not sure that we are talking about the same things, either. I
consider an IT company with some 50-100 head-count as "small to
medium-sized", and more than 1000 people as "big" (this is not exactly
the same than the varying definitions floated by the chambers of commerce).

This stems from my impression/observation of what users want: A user
(company) that has a certain reach - say, dependencies in five or more
countries - typically seems to want a big player to turn to for support.
SAP users also seem to want a big player to turn to, and then, Debian is
not certified for SAP, anyway (afaik).

>> and often disclaimed entirely (eg. last I spoke to someone from IBM or
>> Deutsche Telekom). And then, there is still the question of
>
> Do you want to say these two offer support for Debian?

No, I want to say: Last I talked to people working for these companies,
they didn't say they support Debian, or that they don't support Debian.
But otoh, these companies are big enough to frequently talk to the wrong
person, so it doesn't have to mean that much.

>> Please prove me wrong.
> In which regard?

I thought that you could name a few big companies which prominently
state that they provide support for Debian.

Thank you!

Kind regards,
--Toni++


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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Toni Mueller-4
In reply to this post by Michael Meskes
On 02/17/2012 11:26 PM, Michael Meskes wrote:
> I think you're mixing something up or we have different opinions about how big
> is "big".

Supplement: It is ok to be a small company to support Debian if that's
not the core of operations of the client - then they will let you (or
maybe even me). But do you think you can win the contract for
company-wide support of Debian at LVM (provided they use Debian, not
something else)?


Kind regards,
--Toni++


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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

MJ Ray-2
In reply to this post by Michael Meskes
Michael Meskes <[hidden email]>
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 09:56:29PM +0530, Ritesh Raj Sarraf wrote:
> > > 1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?
> > Lack of "Enterprise" Support. So what is enterprise support?
> >
> > Typically, back-porting of items that interest the enterprise.
> > Similarly, inclusion of items that interest the enterprise. Items could
> > be: Code, Patches, New Features etc.

Well, there's http://backports-master.debian.org and I'd be interested
in uploading if it was wanted - is it that there aren't enough
backports or is something different wanted?

Are there particular archive sections which are more desirable for
backports than others?

> How about SLAs?

What services would we be looking to agree levels for?  What sort of
levels?

I didn't find SLAs at some distributions like
http://gb.redhat.com/about/subscription/whatyouget.html
but I think what canonical has at
http://www.canonical.com/enterprise-services/support/server/service-level-agreements
is within reach of small consultants.  

debian offers some things like life length commitments, but it's not
all on one nice page at the moment.  One missing thing mentioned on
those pages is 24x7 support, but I expect consultants could gather
together to provide that if it's wanted.  Is it?  I'm pretty sure the
co-op would be interested in partnering with support providers in
other timezones to create a 24x7 service.

> > > 2. what could the debian project offer to consultants to help you
> > > to help more companies to use debian more?
> > Can Debian be listed under various [HS]CLs of these vendors? They need a
> > single body to talk to and try to influence their interest. And that
> > doesn't always align with Debian's interest.

Which vendors?  (I thought I was talking about more users, but if
seeing more vendors supporting debian would help get more users,
let's figure it out.)

> Actually I doubt that Debian's interests are the biggest hurdle. Where is that
> body you need? And who's going to finance it?

I think we'd ask consultants, the project and clients to finance it in
some mix.  The debian project has some assets - I think we should ask
for a contribution if it'll bring more potential contributors to
debian.

But first, what does that body need to do?

Hope that helps,
--
MJ Ray (slef), member of www.software.coop, a for-more-than-profit co-op.
http://koha-community.org supporter, web and library systems developer.
In My Opinion Only: see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Michael Meskes
On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 01:21:51PM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:

> > > Typically, back-porting of items that interest the enterprise.
> > > Similarly, inclusion of items that interest the enterprise. Items could
> > > be: Code, Patches, New Features etc.
>
> Well, there's http://backports-master.debian.org and I'd be interested
> in uploading if it was wanted - is it that there aren't enough
> backports or is something different wanted?
>
> Are there particular archive sections which are more desirable for
> backports than others?

Honestly I doubt backports or rather a lack of them are a problem. Longer term
security updates might help though.

> > How about SLAs?
>
> What services would we be looking to agree levels for?  What sort of
> levels?

Well we talking support right? I guess people are looking for all sort of
levels, different reaction time and different availability up to 24x7.

> but I think what canonical has at
> http://www.canonical.com/enterprise-services/support/server/service-level-agreements
> is within reach of small consultants.  

But how do you want to offer 24x7 as a single consultant?

> all on one nice page at the moment.  One missing thing mentioned on
> those pages is 24x7 support, but I expect consultants could gather
> together to provide that if it's wanted.  Is it?  I'm pretty sure the
> co-op would be interested in partnering with support providers in
> other timezones to create a 24x7 service.

Interesting idea, but do you really thing one consultant per timezone is
sufficient? And if you get more, how do you make sure workload and revenue gets
distributed in a fair way?

> But first, what does that body need to do?

Sign contracts and maybe even pay people to do some work. Let me give you two
answered I personally received when talking with represantatives from big
companies in recent years. And no, I'm not going to name the companies.

One statement was: "Give me one company I can sign a contract with, so they do
all the support around Debian we need worldwide and I'll make sure Debian makes
it onto our list of certified Linux distributions." I offered creating a network
to do this but he shot it down. They were not interested in worrying about more
than one supplier.

The other one explicitely asked me to send somebody to their support center to
answer all questions that their customers might have about Debian. This had to
be 24x7, so essantially we were talking about *at least* five people. And just
in case you might wonder, it would have been up to us, not them to pay these
guys.

I really don't how to accomplish this with a group of consultants to be honest.

Michael
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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Toni Mueller-4
In reply to this post by Toni Mueller-4
Hi,

On 02/17/2012 09:18 PM, Toni Müller wrote:
> Debian support, including yours, and one big company (SerNet), who
> should be doing it (but I'm not sure).

Michael just alerted me to the fact that I confused SerNet with some
other company. Searching around, this could probably have been SerCon,
which appears to no longer have their own web presense, and which is/was
a large IBM subsidiary here in Germany.

Sorry for the confusion.


Kind regards,
--Toni++


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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Scott Ferguson-3
In reply to this post by Michelle Konzack-2
Hi all, not on the Debian consultants list. Considering it but not sure
whether it currently has benefits that outweigh disadvantages.

On 18/02/12 04:13, Michelle Konzack wrote:
> Hello MJ Ray,
>
> Am 2012-02-16 17:35:47, hacktest Du folgendes herunter:
>> 1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?
>
> RedHat, Novel/SuSE, Mandriva and maybe Canonical, do active publicity of
> there services.
>
> Not the Debian Project.

Both good and bad. At present Debian is better known to people who are
IT savvy - and unlike, um, certain derivative distributions the standard
of commercial services offering Debian (that I come across) is very high.

A question that concerns me is - if Debian was better known to commerce,
education and government - how do we keep the standards high?

>
> I think, because Debian has no commercial  background  and  each  Debian
> Consultant has to do its own stuff, Debian is lesser  popular.   Me  and
> some other Debian Consultants offering full service,  but  unfortunately
> no one know it.  I for my self have not the financial background  to  do
> the "big" publicity, which mean, I work only local in a very  restricted
> area.

That sounds more like a marketing/advertising problem with your business
(definitely not expensive[*1]). I have the opposite problem - more work
that I can handle, mostly of the sort I don't want (other distros, staff
training, areas of Debian I don't want to work with).

My experience is that most of my clients aren't well informed about OS
in general. If they know what an OS is, and they've heard of *nix -
they've generally only heard of RedHat and Canonical. RedHat is
considered expensive and server only. Canonical is associated with flakey.

Debian promotion/visibility is mentioned several times in this thread.
Two suggestions:-
[*1]; we pool our promotional work by contributing to a/the wiki and
posting to this list. Debian.org could periodically (via Announce?)
"adopt" some of the work maybe?
; a larger problem is a lack of certification - the real marketing
strength of RedHat and Canonical is that they have recognised, and
extensively marketed, qualifications. LPI is (IMHO) better, and if
Debian has something similar it (Debian) would be better known to
business *without* a lowering of the standard.


>
>> 2. what could the debian project offer to consultants to help you
>> to help more companies to use debian more?
>
> Maybe split the Debian Consultants List into categories whioch  services
> they offer and what they do.

That would be difficult - too much cross-over.

>
> I think, it would be better, having a database driven Debian Consultants
> page with tags for each consultant...
>
> Note:  I am also offering Web- and Database-Hosting and I am specialised
>        to PostgreSQL sind more then 10 years.  Also Intranet-Web-Design.
>
> Such infos should be on the Debian Consultants page too, because  it  is
> frustrating for a customer, to contact 10 Consultants and get  always  a
> negative answer because he/she need a special service...
>
> The Weblinks are OK, but if somone need a special service, he/she should
> find it already on the Debian Consultants page by entering some keywords
> in a search form

Additionally it would be useful for us. I often don't take on work
because some of it is outside my areas of focus and I don't know how to
find people/companies with the requisite skills.

>
>> 3. who's reading this list these days?
>
> Me. Michelle Konzack, using Debian GNU/Linux since March 1999, and being
> Debian Consultant since 2001 by starting customized  Intranet  Solutions
> and today the whole service the Debian  Repository  can  offer,  except,
> that I refuse to work with KDE/GNOME.
:-)
I refuse to work with GNOME (nothing against it though).
I work with KDE (a little Fluxbox) - but in general I only support what
I build and personally use enough to know well (can't nail snot to the
wall).

My answer to 3.
Me.
I mostly do small business consulting, contracting and support -
providing both business consulting services, and, IT services. Some
government and large company work (which I'd prefer not to do).

<snipped>


Kind regards

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Re: What do SMEs and consultants want from the debian project?

Scott Ferguson-3
In reply to this post by Toni Mueller-4
On 18/02/12 04:14, Toni Mueller wrote:

>
> Hi Michelle,
>
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 05:57:58PM +0100, Michelle Konzack wrote:
>> Am 2012-02-17 21:56:29, hacktest Du folgendes herunter:
>>> On Thursday 16 February 2012 11:05 PM, MJ Ray wrote:
>>>> 1. what prevents SMEs from using debian more?
>>> Lack of "Enterprise" Support. So what is enterprise support?
>> I do not agree with this, because I work in Strasbourg (France) and Kehl
>> (Germany) and do exactly this...
>
> I have to disagree with your assessment. Although most of us (me too)
> can, do and will support SMEs in their use of Debian, at least MEs (>=
> 200 employees) will often not consider the small player, but go for a
> bigger player like SerNet.
>
> Those bigger shops rarely support Debian, but rather RedHat or SuSE.

That's generally decided from floor-up rather than top-down.  If you
can't get the skill sets then (a good) business won't offer the support.

Here in Canberra Australia there are a number of large contracts that
have a big, fat, uncontested margin between cost and supply (backend,
midrange and desktop) - the difficulty is not pitching or signing, it's
delivery *due* to lack of suitably experienced and skilled staff.

Not that there aren't good Debian people out there - it's just difficult
as an employer to assess them. Generally it's just RedHat or Canonical
trained - and technical skills alone are not what many employers need (x
years as a Debian developer doesn't, on it's own, translate into a
business asset).

>
>
> I found it to be a problem that there is no so called "long term
> support" version for Debian, and only days ago, a customer of mine
> realized that the long term support for Ubuntu is most likely only a
> paid option, not a free one.

It (in practise) is also a long term of updates. I've had a couple of
those that I introduced to Debian - they won't go back.
First introduce them to change control and the economics behind it.
Second point out that Ubuntu is build from Debian.
Third explain Stable, Testing and Unstable.
Lastly show them some real life uptimes.

> One other thing that I found crucial to
> Debian adoption is that commercial packages are usually not certified
> for Debian, but only for commercial distributions.

Yes!
Much of that is pinned on hardware certification - I'm not sure how
Debian would solve that problem... (10 seconds thought) perhaps some
measurement against RedHat device support?
The nature of Debian means that a Debian guarantee is unlikely - but all
I need is the knowledge that *I* can support it *without* having to do
extensive testing before talking to the client/writing the tender.

>
> Don't argue - if the user wants (in my case) WebSphere, AutoCAD or
> Varial, he might be unwilling to bet his >$100k investment on
> experiments with an "unsupported platform", but goes with what the
> vendor specified. There's also more often than not no point in arguing
> that WebSphere might not be that much of a good idea in the first place,
> and I'm pretty confident that the free software world has nothing to
> match the other two packages.

Absolutely. Especially if their staff are WebSphere certified ;-)

It's also a market opportunity (low cost *development* servers and
backup solutions) - while I don't ever advocate running WebSphere or
Oracle on Debian for my clients, long term support is a large part of my
business - especially legacy support (a big weakness with those
expensive software vendors). Support, and a product designed to give my
clients Choices(TM pending) ie because I use Debian there is no lock-in
- you can change support to another company or distro anytime. Debian
does many things differently - but I've never come across features of
Debian that other distros can't replicate. The reverse is not true.

>
>
> Kind regards,
> --Toni++
>
>


Kind regards

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