EFY Times  
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

 
GO
 
 
Going From "Ow" To "Wow" In Open Source
 
Home >> Infotech >> Interviews
 
 
Going From "Ow" To "Wow" In Open Source

Venkat Mangudi, an open source evangelist and OSI Days speaker, recalls how his 10-year-old kid made him realise that Linux should be made compulsory in schools. He also explains how FOSS came to the rescue of small businesses, the new open technologies revolutionalising the world and how to overcome the 'Ow' of discomfort in open source to get a 'Wow' of admiration!

About Venkat Mangudi

Venkat is an open source evangelist based out of Bengaluru, India. He is passionate about open source and speaks/writes about open source whenever possible. He writes for publications like Businessgyan which help the small and medium enterprises. He has spoken on various topics in OSI Days and Interop among other conferences. He manages two companies, AssetMapr Inc (www.assetmapr.com) and Venkat Mangudi Consulting Pvt Ltd (www.venkatmangudi.com). In his spare time (of which he has none these days), he loves to play golf, go wine tasting and cook.

Please tell us a little about your tryst with Linux and open source.
I started using Linux more than a decade ago when it had serious teething issues. Since six years now, I have been evangelising open source and Linux. While working with apps in Europe and the US, I have always kept a lookout for open source alternatives and remained in tune with the FOSS world. When I was implementing PeopleSoft CRM for PeopleSoft and Oracle, I was aware of SugarCRM. Even in its early days, it was a reasonable contender for the commercial packages. Of course, it was fraught with issues and bugs then, nevertheless, it has grown now to be a major choice for users worldwide. Ever since I returned to India in 2006, I have been actively writing and speaking on FOSS as well as on implementing FOSS enterprise applications for small and medium businesses. The reason why I focussed on such businesses was that they lacked a good advisor when it came to technology and business. They cannot afford the big guns and the small players are often inexperienced except in their particular application to provide an unbiased recommendation. Working with enterprise application giants worldwide has taught me what enterprise applications should really be and how it could bring improvement for their organisations. However, at the same time, I am not an advocator of esoteric management theories like the theory of constraints or balanced scorecard because it simply doesn't make sense to think along those lines when there is an issue in basic processes.

According to you, what role is open source playing in the technology world, currently, and going forward, how do you foresee the landscape evolving?
Open source is certainly the way forward. I have no doubt that FOSS will be the single largest contender for all system and application softwares in the near future. We are in exciting times. People have started looking at FOSS as an alternative that is not just limited to the geeks. Although I agree that significant challenges need to be addressed before it becomes the first choice and not just an alternative for users, it is only a matter of time before everything will be FOSS, as the technological landscape is rapidly evolving. Commercial apps will become outcasts then. In fact, it would not be surprising to find large apps like SAP and Oracle to be licensed under open source in future. After all, it's in the services and not the software where the money lies. No organisation could use just any software the way it is. Every organisation has its own unique needs. FOSS makes it possible for organisations to ensure that software can be used effectively. We need to make sure that a proper support infrastructure is available to FOSS to boost consumer confidence.

Linux completed 20 years this year; what according to you has been the landmark achievement/development in this space?
In the past 20 years, Linux has evolved from a geeky offering to a mainstream operating system. More and more people are considering it as an alternative, especially in times of the recession. That's the good news. The bad news, I am afraid is that most of the people are unaware of open source. While they may have heard of the term and linked it to Linux, the word 'open' sparks an irrational fear in them that it could be prone to data security issues. Adequate awareness is yet to be spread on Linux and open source. In this regard, I think OSI Days is doing its bit. But it's not enough.

Lots more is still left to be done. We need to visit schools and colleges to ensure that all young minds are familiar with Linux. In schools, computer learning is restricted to Windows. My 10-year-old comes home and wants to practice on MS Word. And I don't have a single computer with Windows at home. How can we let this happen to our kids? We need to get more pro-active at the school level and advocate the useage of Linux instead of Windows.

The biggest achievement for Linux in my opinion, has been its acceptance in the Indian BFSI sector. The fact that such an extra cautious industry has wholeheartedly accepted Linux, speaks a lot about Linux.

What are the challenges in open source adoption at developers' and/or implementers' level, and how can these challenges be overcome?
There are many challenges for open source at all levels. Awareness is a key issue among them. It is surprising that many software engineers and developers haven't a clue about open source.

Recently, at a meeting with a client, the developer of the incumbent home grown software (.Net/MS SQL) actually declared that open source is a security issue. So I invited him to the OSI Days this year. I hope that he attends it and that should open his eyes to reality!.

As you can see, if software engineers with four to five years of experience are ignorant, what do we expect from users who really don't care much about technology? After all, technology is just an enabler and should augment the user's work.

Another big challenge for open source is that most of us, ie the Indian software community, are consumers of open source. How many of us have contributed the code back? The answer is a very small percentage of us'.

Advocating the use of FOSS to end users is another big challenge. Most organizations do not have the money to spend on selling FOSS, unless you count the big guys like Redhat. Much of our work revolves around making people aware of FOSS solutions and how they make better business sense. We need an apex body like NASSCOMM to help in promoting FOSS.

Could you share some of the open source technologies/platforms/languages et al that you are excited about?
There are a plethora of exciting open source stacks available today. Other than the ubiquitous LAMP stack, Ruby on Rails, Django and Perl also excite me. I also cannot wait to know what HTML5 is going to deliver for the bandwidth hungry populace. Then, enterprise open source applications like ERP, CRM, EPM, BI and CMS are all set to make such a huge difference to the way the world sees itself. Talking abot Virtualization & Cloud Computing technologies, they are definitely going to make hardware redundant. I can go on forever, naming several of these exciting technologies but the time is too little to learn everything.

It astounds me that the power of my little cell phone is far greater than the first PC I ever used. Android, Meego and Symbian are bringing revolutionary technologies to the common man. It was very heartening to see my illiterate gardener use the address book on his cellphone. He had memorised certain alphabets and assigned them to people in his address book. So, even though he cannot read/write English, he could pull up the phone number from his phone's address book. Amazing, isn't it?

Oh, I almost forgot. I had a look at Dart today and went gaga over its nice and elegant language. Too bad, a simple Hello World program was translated to 17,000 lines of Javascript. But that is primarily because a whole library, unnecessary to the execution of the program, was loaded.

So much technology has taught me to keep things simple and use the right tools for the right job. Cutting cheese with axe is not a good idea after all!

Did you attend or participate in the event last year? If yes, how was your experience?
I have been a part of the OSI Days for the past few years. It was called OSI Week and not OSI Days, when I participated for the first time. Last year, I was all over the place. I was a keynote speaker for a couple of sessions and then chaired/participated in a couple of panel discussions. It was exciting, albeit a little hot since it was in Chennai, to meet so many talented FOSS enthusiasts. Hopefully, I will be able to meet with a few this year as well.

What are your expectations from the Summit this year?
This year, considering that it is held in Bangalore, I hope to see tremendous turnover for the sessions. Also, we'll see a lot of developers attending the conference. The ignorance I spoke of earlier, hopefully will be cleared and we'll see a surge of FOSS evangelists.

What are going to be the key highlights of your talk/session(s)?
One of my sessions this year is about converting the "Ows" of open source to "Wows". If any of us have assisted someone new to Linux/FOSS in migrating, we would get to hear endless complaints from them about how things are not working like proprietary applications. While we can attribute such complaints to ignorance or lack of knowledge, what we need to understand is that it is this impression at the consumers' level is what is changing the world. When the Ipod was introduced, it was not the first portable solid state music player. But what made it click? Simplicity? Elegance? Or simple features? I think it was all these. Google was not the first search engine. But it is the reigning search engine today. How did that happen? Because of the "wow" factor. Imagine if the Ipod kept rebooting or the search results were only 70 per cent accurate. There would be so many "ows" and no "wows". Today, we see many "ows" everywhere and only a few are ready to try on FOSS seriously. Most people try it and then switch back. We need to provide the "wow" factor. My talk examines the "ow" factors today and explores potential ways to convert them to "wow" factors.

 
 
Rate this news:  (1 Votes)

Print Email Post Comment 
(Total Views: 10587)
Share
 
 
 
Infotech News
   
Infor Partners With CII – Institute Of Logistics To Raise Awareness On The Need To Adopt Fashion Focused Technology
Pivotal Big Data Suite Gets Real Time Boost With In-Memory Upgrade
TekLink International 2014 Innovation Day Showcases The Latest From SAP Analytics,SAP HANA, & Enterprise Performance Management
Accurate Background Achieves Oracle Validated Integration With Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service And Oracle Taleo Business Edition Cloud Service
WalkOn App Rewards People For Activity, Makes Fitness A Status Symbol
 
Most popular
 

Daily

Weekly

Android 5.0 Lollipop: 10 Most Exciting Features
Cloudera And Red Hat Forge Big Data Alliance
20 Open Source Alternatives To Video And Audio Apps
5 Ways In Which NFC Can Transform Your World!
10 Best VPN Service Providers To Ensure Online Privacy
10 Best Browser Extensions Which You Must Have!
7 Best Tools To Ensure Browser Security
10 Exciting New Open Source Projects!
Top 10 Flaws Of Hadoop That Are Seriously Annoying!
10 Most Powerful Women Shining In The Tech World!
5 Most Exciting Job Opportunities For Video Game Developers
10 Personalities Who Redefined The Internet World!
GPS Technology: Know The Basic Facts
Stay Away From Dropbox, Facebook And Google, Edward Snowden Advises
23-Year-Old Kris Sanchez Earns Over $500,000 In A Year Via Twitter!
10 Most Amazing Facts About 3D Printing Technology
 
   

Overall

Agility Systems Deals in:

Document Management System for law firms
Features
Android 5.0 Lollipop: 10 Most Exciting Features
Since the preview, Google has added lots of new features to the final release of the latest Android version. Here we will discuss top 10 features of m...
GPS Technology: Know The Basic Facts
Let's take a look how this GPS technology is operated in our daily uses....
10 Best Open Source Web Application Security Scanning Tools
Here we'll provide you with a list of 10 open source tools which are used to detect security vulnerabilities in web applications....
5 Ways In Which NFC Can Transform Your World!
Let’s have a look at 10 ways how NFC can actually rock your world in the near future....
10 Exciting New Open Source Projects!
These projects cater to several categories like web content management, software defined networking, IT management, operating systems and more....
20 Open Source Alternatives To Video And Audio Apps
Here is a list of 20 such tools which make it easy to create, listen to and view digital audio and video content....
LED Technology: Know The Basic Facts!
Here we'll brief you about the LED technology and some top tutorials about the technology for beginners as well as advanced learners....
10 Best Browser Extensions Which You Must Have!
Here we are providing a list of 10 coolest Internet browser extensions for you, which are mostly cross-platform....
5 Most Exciting Job Opportunities For Video Game Developers
Demand for video game developers is always on a high and game studios usually pay handsome money to these developers....
10 Most Powerful Women Shining In The Tech World!
Though women are vastly outnumbered by men in this industry, we can still find out 10 most influential high-profile women in the tech world....
10 Personalities Who Redefined The Internet World!
Let's have a look at those 10 personalities who have transformed the Internet world in a bigger way....
10 Most Amazing Facts About 3D Printing Technology
3D printing technology is advancing fast and is becoming an integral part of mainstream technologies in the society....
10 Amazing Robots Transforming Medical World!
Here we will talk about 10 most useful medical robots which have huge potential to transform the healthcare sector....
7 Best Tools To Ensure Browser Security
Here is the list of 7 such browser security tools which you may find useful....
10 Best VPN Service Providers To Ensure Online Privacy
If you are using your home Internet or public Wi-Fi, VPN providers will ensure best security features and privacy guarantees....
 
  View All
Dialogue
 
10 Questions That Google Never Asks While Hiring!
Here is a list of 10 questions that Google just banned from their interviews....
For Enjay, Open Source Technology Is A Way Of Life
An entirely open source-based company, Enjay IT Solutions, has built itself a reputation in the OSS domain....
Switching To Tizen Doesn’t Mean We Are Abandoning Android: Samsung
The company has worked to build Tizen up from scratch and has now introduced it to developers and the general public with its latest range of wearable...
Venturing Into The Cloud? Develop A Customised Cloud Strategy First!
Diksha P Gupta speaks to Rushikesh Jadhav, cloud evangelist, ESDS Software Solution Pvt Ltd, on how the cloud has changed the way compan...
HTC Is Strong And There Are No Plans Of Sale Now Or In Future, Says HTC's Senior Director-Marketing
Atithya Amaresh from EFYTimes had an exclusive chat with Sirpa H. Ikola, senior director, Marketing, South Asia, HTC about its devices and its plans w...
   
  View All
Videos
 
First Look: LG Optimus G
The phone sports a high-end display and comes powered by a powerful processor. ...
Create QR-Codes For Free
TEC-IT releases the freeware QR-Code Studio to provide a quick and convenient way of QR code creation for every application scenario....
DoT Secretary Shares Plans For Growth Of Telecom Sector
M.F. Farooqui has recently taken charge as secretary, Department of Telecom....
Hands-On: Sony Xperia Z
Xperia Z is Sony's first entrant model in the big-screen smartphone category. ...
Hands On: Videocon A30 Smartphone
Videocon, the consumer electronics company which is known for its refrigerators, washing machine and air-conditioner has unveiled its Android-based sm...
   
View All
   
 
IFA 2014
 
IFA 2014: LG Launches 34-Inches Curved Monitor
The company is yet to confirm price and availability of the device....
IFA 2014: Intel Launches First Core M Range Of Processors
This range of processors is tailor-made for 2-in-1 devices which include a tablet and a laptop....
MWC 2014: Tablet Lets People Feel Textures On Its Screen
Now feel what you see on your tablet, by way of ultrasonic waves....
MWC 2014: 4K Android Tablet Games To Kill Consoles, iPad
Tablet makers like Samsung want to beat the iPad by making 4K tabs. ...
MWC 2014: This Vodafone Backpack Helps Get Network In Disaster Situations
Two engineers of Vodafone New Zealand displayed the "mini" mobile network by Vodafone substructure in a backpack. ...
MWC 2014: Wilocity Chipset To Bring 'Lightening' Speed To Mobile Phones
Wilocity has developed a WiGig chipset for mobile phones that will bring lightning-fast wireless capability ...
MWC 2014: Samsung Introduces Octacore, Hexacore Chipsets
The Korean giant, Samsung unveiled two new octacore and hexacore chipsets at MWC 2014, in Barcelona. The company previously used Exynos 5 Octa 5410 ch...
   
View All
   
 
Events
 
19th Consumer Electronic Imaging Fair To Be Held On ...

View All
   
   
 
 

home archives contact us advertise with us
           
Magazines Portals Directories Events News Verticals Educational Institute  
Electronics for You
Open Source for You
Electronics Bazaar
electronicsforu.com
efytimes.com
opensourceforu.com
electronicsb2b.com
Electronics Annual Guide
EFY EXPO INDIA
EFY EXPO WEST
ELECTRONICS ROCKS
EFY Awards
OSIDAYS Expo
Electronics
Infotech
Linux & Open Source
Consumer Electronics
Science & Technology
BPO
EFY Techcenter

Educational Kits
Kitsnspares.com  
 
 
© Copyright 2014 EFY Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without written permission is prohibited.
Usage of the content from the web site is subject to Terms and Conditions