Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (527 mails)

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Marketing & Novell, SUSE, and openSUSE (was Re: [opensuse] 42.2 Live DVD with KDE)
Hi All,

On 27 August 2016 at 16:57, Anton Aylward <opensuse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Every year, the marketing team from Novell come round various cities doing
show and tell. They usually include a few 'partners', always, it seems, IBM.
They always hand out a folder of DVDs for the latest installation. I have a
collection of these panning the better part of a decade on my shelf :-)

Novell have had little or nothing to do with the openSUSE Project for
many years now.

Novell purchased SUSE in 2004. As part of Novell, SUSE was operated
much like a separate department in the organisation, with most
operations and senior management being indistinguishable from the rest
of Novell. I would certainly consider this period as a period which
Novell was directly involved in the daily life of the openSUSE

Novell was purchased and became part of the Attachmate Group in 2011.

The Attachmate Group consisted of several discrete business units.
SUSE was one such business unit, with its own senior management team,
product managers, R&D, and so on and so forth.
Some common sales, marketing and infrastructure operations were shared
between business units, but essentially since 2011 SUSE has been an
independent organisation setting its own direction as part of a larger
family of companies.

or to put it another way, since 2011 SUSE, not Novell, has been the
primary patron of the openSUSE Project

Now more recently, Micro Focus purchased the Attachmate Group and
formed the Micro Focus Group.

The Micro Focus group consists of two business units. "Micro Focus"
(consisting of the Micro Focus, Novell, NetIQ, Attachmate, Borland
brands - ) and SUSE (consisting of SUSE).
While of course we happily share some common resources between these
two business units, the nature of SUSE's business is very different
than the rest of Micro Focus (SUSE provides Subscription services
ontop of Open Source products compared to Micro Focus providing
traditional software licenses and maintenance on top of mostly Closed
Source products) and so SUSE's own Sales, Support, Training &
Marketing teams are all growing in addition to everything else which
is growing (ps. we're hiring.. )

So please, don't expect too much in regards to SUSE marketing from
Novell/Micro Focus - we're one happy family, but the nature of the
relation has changed dramatically in the last 5 years.

SUSE Marketing significantly contribute to openSUSE, we regularly
attend events together and swap and share merchandise and more for
mutual benefit. For an example you can see below.

In addition to all that, openSUSE is, as it always has been, an
independent project able of setting its own destiny. We expend large
amounts of the money provided by SUSE & other sponsors on openSUSE
merchandise which we distribute internationally, quite often at
significant cost. SUSE also contribute a dedicated openSUSE Marketing
Expert to help coordinate such openSUSE-specific marketing efforts -
his name is Douglas DeMaio and you can contact him at ddemaio@xxxxxxxx
. Much of our marketing efforts are discussed on the
opensuse-marketing@xxxxxxxxxxxx mailinglist, that is what it is there

Because of the astronomical costs of international import of much of
this merchandise (often doubling the overall cost if not more), and
the sad reality that customs officials in some countries often impound
whatever we're trying to send to our advocates, the openSUSE Board
started the Local Material Production Reimbursement programme some
time ago.

This allows openSUSE contributors to make small amounts of openSUSE
materially locally, which helps reduce the costs and the shipping lead

Zvesdana, Cynthia, and Ken, our awesome designers also put together a
whole guide on our official branding colour schemes and assets,
including the assets we use for creating official openSUSE USB sticks,
Pens, and more -

They've also given out USB sticks. These have copied of the presentations and
more marketing material, spec sheets and such. They have been 2G sticks.

This last year there was no USB stick. I asked why and was told that
parties could download same from the web site. I'm not sure that such economy
makes sense.

I tried making the point that if you multiply the number of attendees (there
were between 150 and 200 at the event here in Toronto) by the number of cities
and look at the cost of printing up the folder and pair of DVDs they handed
and then compared that to the cost in bulk of a 16G DVD with a 'live' version
LEAP/SLED/SLES and a download icon, and all the marketing material as PDF and
HTML, the sticks being green with a logo and name and url, it actually works
cheaper. You can, guys, verify this for yourself. There are quite a number
sites on-line that offer this service; make up one image and supply the GIF of
the imprint on the side of the stick. Yes, you could probably make a 'live'
8G but 16G lets you run it for real and save the result. As Antonio points
many people can use this safely at work or at an internet café. Having a
'save' space allows customization and configuration of preferences, email
set-up, and more.

You may think that the reaction from the marketeers at the SUSE Linux Day
when I
suggested this was a sort of 'deer in the headlights'. You'd be wrong. It
started with stony silence. once I presented the cost figures I had an
on my hands. it was an odd sort of argument. It never touched on my
or personal habits, but then again it never touched on economics ether. It
seemed to revolve around just the opposite of what Antonio claims.
But then again I'm not sure; dealing with sales-critters and marketing
is often confusing, especially if they have a great deal of technical
and these guys really know their product! They really do!

I think a LiveUSB is a great project, a great way of memetically (aka 'mind
virus') infiltrating Linux and specifically SUSE into a ecosystem.

I'm just sorry I can't help Antonio with his specific problems.

I was in Toronto all of last week at LinuxCon, representing SUSE &
openSUSE at our joint booth on the floor of LinuxCon.

I personally gave away hundreds of openSUSE branded USB sticks, each
of which were 8GB in size. And stickers, and metal openSUSE pins, and
more stickers. All of which were arranged through Douglas. I would
have taken more, such as the awesome Tumbleweed and Leap T-shirts we
have these days, but our stock was a little low because he was at
Frosscon at the same time in Germany giving them away ;)

And we'll be at LinuxCon Europe in October doing it all again before
SUSEcon in November, and probably more if people volunteer to
represent us at events - now you know where to do so :)

Hope this clears things up for you and sets your expectations in the
right direction.


Richard Brown
openSUSE Chairperson
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