Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (60 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openSUSE Foundation (Was: SUSE to be acquired by EQT Partners)
On Tue, 03 Jul 2018 15:02:51 +0200
"Knurpht@openSUSE" <knurpht@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

<snip>

I'm with Ana here. And I like the idea of consulting previous board
members. I've been around since S.u.S.E. and from 2005 on, this
discussion has come up over and over again, with peaks around the
various sales of SUSE. Becoming an independent foundation is not that
easy, specially not now after the coming to effect of GDPR. With
former board members joining us in the discussion, we might get some
info/points we haven't thought about yet. No idea how this could
relate to something like SPI though.



Hi all,

Ex-board member and ex-SUSE employee.

I was part of some of the discussions about setting up an independent
foundation type org for openSUSE. I'm happy to chime in where I can.

Recalling from memory, the effort was abandoned for several good
reasons, including the thought that this could be a big distraction for
the community and no clear vision by anyone on the governing structure
etc.

Every time, SUSE has changed ownership, this kind of discussion pops up
with some mild paranoia IMO, about SUSE dropping or weakening support
for openSUSE.

Having had the luck, perhaps more than other folks at my level at SUSE,
I had quite a bit of sustained interaction with the SUSE leadership
team and got to know them on a personal, as well as, a professional
level.

From this, I can say, Nils and the team are very well respected
internally, not just on the sales side, but the engineering side too.
Nils operates in a very transparent manner, compared to other CEO's.
During one trip to Nuremburg, I was surprised to see Nils with an open
door. I knocked and was invited in for a free form chat for more than
half an hour.

Before the MicroFocus purchase, the all-hands calls could be a free for
all, in that tough questions were posed to leadership and they were as
forthright as you could ask for. It was telling that MF all-hands were
a completely different experience. Not criticizing, just noting the
cultural difference.

Moreover, I _know_ SUSE's leadership cares a _lot_ about having a
healthy independent openSUSE community. They see it as important
strategically and the benefits go both ways.

Hence, the fact that Rich Brown, got a reassurance call from Nils, so
early in the day, is completely in character to me.

When MicroFocus bought Attachmate, it was mostly a positive thing for
SUSE. Attachmate wisely IMO split out SUSE and this allowed SUSE to
rebuild its brand separate from legacy Novell days.

Along with this, especially the ability to have investment resources,
which SUSE never had before allowed SUSE to grow steadily and in some
quarters, pretty dramatically.

This has become important over time, as SUSE is not just a Linux company,
but more an open source infrastructure company. Being able to make strategic
technology investments, like openATTIC, lets SUSE be a stronger competitor
in the market. Imagine if SUSE bought Inktank(CEPH) or CoreOS before RH ?
Now SUSE can and that only helps openSUSE as well. Things like
Openstack, Kubic and Software Storage are multi-million dollar
investments.

That said, I also worked under Attachmate's ownership and there _are_
advantages to being a private company, especially the ability to focus
on long term organic growth.

My take from the outside now is SUSE, splitting from MF is a good
thing for both companies. SUSE can concentrate on long term growth and
MF can concentrate on integrating the HPE merger.

As for openSUSE, I see nothing that should distract the community from
continuing with business as usual.

Just IMO,

Peter




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