OSBC Opening Keynotes

The Open Source Business Conference opened this morning with keynotes from Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO or Red Hat, and Steven Pearson, VP Advanced technologies at CBS Interactive. Matt Asay started the morning off with a video based on his “fighting a rising tide riff”. The audience at OSBC this year is by percentage much less lawyer dense, with many more CEO’s, CIO’s and CTO’s. I’d guess this is just another indication of that fact that Open Source is becoming more and more mainstream.

If there were any remaining doubts about the selection of Jim as the new CEO of Red Hat, I think his opening keynote should help put them to rest. He gets it. He plans to focus Red Hat on enterprise infrastructure and also has plans to get more clients engaged with the Open Source communities that comprise the suite of products that Red Hat supports. He admits that’s something Red Hat has been “lousy at”. Admits that he’s still learning at lot, which is refreshing coming from a CEO. His IT budget at Delta was more then then $500M in yearly revenues at Red Hat. I think it’s clear that under Jim, Red Hat will almost certainly become the first $1B/year pure play Open Source company.

Steven underscored the massive amount of Open Source that CBS Interactive uses. “Every bit of what we do touches Open Source in some way”. Allows them to easily scale things like March Madness and fantasy sports up and down as season change. Covered some of the biggest challenges he sees with companies such as CBSi giving back to OSS (it’s not about competitors getting a hold of the code, but the work involved with cleaning it up/packaging it and the time involved finding the correct committers and getting it accepted).

–jeremy

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