Memo to Canonical: Time to Revive Ubuntu Live Conference
As OSCON (Open Source Convention) gets set to start July 19 in Portland, Oregon, I’m reminded of an Ubuntu-centric conference that once showed great promise. The event, called Ubuntu Live, was co-located at OSCON in 2007. But it no longer exists. Here’s why it’s time for Canonical to revive Ubuntu Live for partners and customers.
No doubt, Canonical and the Ubuntu community host a range of very successful community gatherings — including Ubuntu Global Jams, so-called Ubuntu Hours and Ubuntu Developer Summits (UDS). Canonical also attends numerous events and the company continues to host educational webcasts.
Building a Business Community
Those all are valuable efforts. Still, Canonical can do more on the conference front. The world’s most successful software companies typically host formal customer and partner conferences. A prime example: I just returned home from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2010 (WPC10) in Washington, D.C. I know Microsoft has its share of critics, but WPC10 was a fantastic event during which Microsoft shared key product, technology and business strategies with Partners.
In the open source world, partner and customer conferences like Red Hat Summit, JBoss World and Novell BrainShare come to mind. Even smaller open source companies are hosting key summits — such as MySQL Conference, SugarCRM SugarCon and Pentaho Partner Summit come to mind.
What’s the Point?
Vendor-hosted conferences server multiple purposes. Customers and partners can gather to focus on a single, central topic or theme. The host vendor can share its complete vision. And potential customers can hear from those who have successfully adopted and/or deployed key technologies.
Canonical has launched numerous efforts since the Ubuntu Live conference in mid-2007. Ubuntu One, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud and Landscape didn’t exist when Ubuntu Live was last held three years ago. Moreover, Canonical continues to build OEM relationships with a range of hardware companies.
No doubt, Canonical representatives will do a solid job describing new initiatives during OSCON. But it’s time for Canonical to build its own stage. It’s time for the company to host an Ubuntu-centric conference, where customers and partners come together to hear Canonical’s complete vision, share best practices and discuss next steps to success.
It’s time for Canonical to revive Ubuntu Live.