One Disk, One Place , One Choice . Ubuntu .
Today I had the pleasure, and I dont type that statement glibly , of talking to Steve George of Canonical. Many of you are already familiar with the fact that Canonical are the driving direction behind Ubuntu.
My conversation with Steve was from the point of view of an commercial end user and it was enlightening. As an experienced open source user with experience in being involved in the community I was interested to know more about what my clients could expect from Canonical in terms of support. Clearly Canonical are aware that they cannot be the everyman to every moment and this is why they have created a variety of levels at which you can integrate with and interact with support for Ubunutu.
At the grass roots, garden fence, levels are the Loco Teams followed by the Partners , Affiliates and Gold partners and then Canonical themselves. Just like the computer world can be divided into Desktop and Server markets so Canonical have managed to ensure that the one to many relationship of support and availability can be managed. If we the Teams are focused on the desktop and ensuring that it Works then Canonical are focused across the spectrum of requirements.Fortunately they get the Server end of the spectrum to support and promote in a commercial and enterprise apect. I was however unaware that Canonical run their support operations from Montreal. A decision which enables them to provide support across quite a wide time zone and with a wide option of languages spoken. I will post more about that at a later date.
Of interest to me in the conversation was how Canonical are recognising people who as part of the Loco and other teams are contributing to helping them promote and support Ubuntu. Canonical have taken the spirit of community and applied it to recognising those in the community who give and offer to others. This is not necessarily a part of contributing to code or bug reports ( although those are indeed worthy and important efforts ). The contributions they are seeking is how much a person can get involved in promoting Ubuntu and explaining to the other communities in which you are involved about how it is important to them.
There were certainly two things I took away from the conversation one related to the “Unique Selling Point” about Ubuntu and the other was how many assumptions Windows user already make about support. I will talk about that U.S.P now and I will leave it to another post to talk about the Windows user assumptions.
What did I learn about Ubuntu from a Commercial perspective ?
Steve communicated to me a very clear idea about Ubuntu and its so amazingly simple even I had never grasped it until this conversation.
With Ubuntu you will always have just one Release and One product. It does not have a variety of “hidden” or “Privileged” or “Paid for” levels which could be opened up at a later date. With Ubuntu the distro gives you access to everything and you are not required to “register” or “define” your interests in Ubuntu. In short with Ubuntu you have reduced your need to burn multiple disks, choose from specific installation packages or even understand a variety of ideas before asking for what you need. To coin the idea that embraces the reason why I find Ubuntu so appealing.
“One Disk, One Place, One Choice. Ubuntu.”