avatar Chris Latterell, VP Marketing Open-Xchange

Happy Birthday, America. Germany Might Understand Freedom Better than You

You know what? John Oliver was right: “Apple could put the entire text of Mein Kampf in the iTunes user agreement and you would just be, like, ‘– uh, um: agree – agree’.”

It’s true. We want our Interweb. We want our SpotiTunes. We want our Lolcatz. And, short of immediate bodily harm befalling our beloved family pet or children, we don’t care what we have to do or agree to in order to get it.

And you know what else? You might think it’s funny that he references that infamous German text (and, even though that book still elicits profoundly sensitive reactions here in Germany, you’d be right). But he could have just as easily used The Communist Manifesto or Lolita (ok, maybe that’s a stretch), but he didn’t. He used a German text, and that’s also incredibly relevant at this moment.

The German Government recently said it will not renew a contract with Verizon Communications for Internet Services after it expires in 2015 specifically because “The ties revealed between foreign intelligence agencies and firms in the wake of the US National Security Agency affair show that the German government needs a very high level of security for its critical networks.”

Let that sink in for a minute. That’s Germany, a country who suffered under ubiquitous surveillance and extreme human rights violations from two different totalitarian regimes for more than half of the twentieth century, saying to one of the biggest companies in America “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; but I will not be fooled a third time – no thanks.” That’s a nation who has made terms like Stasi part of the world’s every-day lexicon telling a world superpower they no longer want to do business with them because they can’t trust them to protect privacy and freedom.

At this point, as you are reaching for that second Bud Light and the next bottle rocket with which to symbolically celebrate the explosion of freedom America brought forth on this day in 1776, you might be asking yourself “but wait – are things really that bad? Sure, Verizon may be sharing personal information from its users with the U.S. government, but it’s all in the name of protecting what this bottle rocket in my hand represents. Plus, I’m not a bad person, so this will never affect me.”

Well, funny you should ask, because, actually, it does.

In a document the NSA released last year, the agency says through its programs, where they are taking data from companies like Verizon and other major Internet companies, that it “touches” 1.6 percent of daily internet traffic. The document also says that the Internet as a whole carries 1,826 petabytes of information per day (One petabyte is equivalent to over 13 years of HDTV video).

Now, 1.6 percent certainly makes it sound like the NSA’s activities and the big tech companies’ cooperation with them isn’t that big of a deal. But, when you consider that last year 30 percent of the world’s Internet traffic was used for viewing pornography, and when you learn that “because large quantities of Internet data is represented by music and video sharing, or large file transfers – content which is easy to identify and dismiss without entering it into systems,” leading people like journalism professor and Internet commentator Jeff Jarvis to say that “the NSA’s 1.6% of net traffic would be half of the communication on the net,” the NSA’s reassurances start to look about as comforting as the fact that the Fourth of July is NOT one of the 11 days in the year when people in the U.S. watch the least amount of Internet porn.

But it was no secret that these companies were harvesting this data in the first place. Talking with friends and family back in the States, I see how comfortable people have become in how they use their personal profiles to enable companies’ advertising algorithms based on their habits. They seem not phased that Google knows what they’re planning to cook for dinner, when they’re thinking about buying a new pair of shoes, and the fact that they have $200 in illegal out-of-state fireworks in their basement.

Sure, maybe to most people that isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe it’s even desirable. As an ex-pat looking-in from the outside, it’s like a never-ending birthday party for government agencies who are daily given the gift of a pre-filled profiles that they can leverage as they see fit to pressure and control any activity seen as a threat (in secret). The ROI on the surveillance state and the 54 “cases of terrorism prevented” seem unsustainably bankrupt without check nor balance.

In addition to knowing your birthday and the fact that you rate The Backstreet Boys as the best band ever, Facebook also knows what your political beliefs are, if you sympathize with a particular cause, and if you are in contact with anyone of dubious character. It’s easy to see why any government would want this information, and in a way it could even be argued that it would be negligent of an intelligence service if they did not try to access this information if it is being stored in the first place.

And that is the real problem, and why we must return to Mr. Oliver’s quote from earlier and face the other reality of why we are so willing to click the ‘agree’ button on those terms of service:

It’s not just that we are a bit lazy, it’s that these big communications providers and tech companies have figured out the power of the terms of service agreement: “if you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring.”

The ‘terms of service’ that Internet companies provide today protect their own interests, and in many ways also, the government’s interests. Most Internet users don’t read them, and even fewer really understand them. And yet, they change all the time to suit the service provider, and rarely offer you the chance to opt out. When you click ‘agree’ you surrender any rights you thought you had and allow anything you do or say online to essentially become the property of the company that provided you with the slick app that you used to share it. There’s probably a data center in Nevada that has more legal right to your ideas than you do.

The root of the problem is not simply that governments have gained access to this data, but that this data exists in such a manner in the first place: to be stored, analyzed and re-used by whomever is the highest buyer (and with copies for sure). Yeah sure, we knew it was being collected, and that the profiles were being built, but have seemed to be willing to put up with it. Especially if it meant that Target could send you a deal on a nice pair of espadrilles just before you jetted off to Miami.

Citizens, and many businesses, are backed into a corner with these perversely out-of-control terms of service. Small businesses, for example, can’t afford not to have a good placing on Google search results, but changes as to how Google rates online presence are now heavily influenced by activity on Google+. If you want to feature prominently on the search engine, you have to accept all the terms and conditions that go along with that. There might be one small condition that you object to, but the all-or-nothing approach of these agreements means you must surrender your freedom of choice just to get the benefits on offer.

It’s time for us to reject these terms of service and work together to build new terms that work for the user, and not the companies that control and monitor how we use the Internet. An Internet of the people, by the people, for the people. A common set of rules that apply to every service or application, written for the user and not the developer or service provider. A set of rules that won’t lock out a user from the whole app if they don’t want to grant the app certain permissions, a set of rules that gives confidence and freedom of choice and expression to the user without worrying about future judgement.

But if the Internet giants won’t stand for your freedom and make these terms of service more transparent and user-minded, who will?

Just last week, in a unanimous decision that many are calling hugely important for protecting citizens against unauthorized use and collection of their personal data, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the vast amount of data contained on modern cellphones must be protected from routine inspection.

Personally I can’t decide what’s more ironic: that 9 highly politically-polarized Americans could agree on anything at all; or that more than a quarter of a millennium after declaring independence from a British government that was seen as overly regulatory, that perhaps America’s greatest hope for continued freedom and independence on the Internet is expanded regulation.

You want independence? You want freedom? You want the right to watch Perez Hilton “80’s celebrities: where are they now?” slideshows in blissful anonymity? Yes? Do you? Then after you’ve lit that final bottle rocket, honored your nation’s founders, and thought about the freedoms that America represents, pick up the phone.

Who you call – your congressman to demand regulation, or your Internet provider to demand a new terms of service – is entirely up to you. And that choice you still have, for now.

avatar Chris Latterell, VP Marketing Open-Xchange

Have you got the message yet? The modern messaging landscape still includes email

Email, as we know it today, is just over 20 years old – and has only been in widespread use for considerably less than that. But there has been no shortage of those wishing to tell us that as a medium it is dead and buried. Most recently, two UK Universities have said how students no longer want to communicate via email and are focusing efforts on answering queries via social media channels instead.

“For this generation, this is a normal way of communicating and their expectations are very high,” said Katie Connolly of Birmingham University in an attempt to write email’s obituary. “You can’t leave things a week or two. Email is slower.”

Communication is constantly evolving, and it would be hasty to say that social media will replace it entirely. But the evidence suggests that more and more people are actually moving away from email – not to social networks – but to a new breed of messaging applications. Perhaps the main reason why Facebook agreed to purchase WhatsApp for $19Bn – no small pocket change, that’s for sure.

In just a couple of years, OTT messaging services have grown exponentially in use. A recent report in GigaOM shows that six of the most commonly used services now handle tens of billions of messages a day and have over a billion users. WhatsApp users alone send over 50 billion messages a day. A staggering figure.

So, what does this mean for email?

With 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide today – and an annual growth rate of 6% (more than 4.9 billion accounts by 2017) – email is still entrenched in how people work and communicate. Just like the TV and Radio were reported of dying, the truth of the matter is: the eyes of the partners we talk to get wide when they understand the options they have to go beyond email (both in financial terms and extending reach of online services) partnering with Open-Xchange.

What sets email apart is that it was the first electronic messaging protocol that we could all own a piece of. Almost everyone has at least one email address now, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. It’s still the preferred method of communication for business, and for all the benefits of OTT messaging services, it’s not quite the right medium for long form, nuanced official messages.

Email, social networks and OTT messages all form part of a rich tapestry of communications. Let’s not forget, either, the role that video and voice can play, or even managing appointments for face-to-face meetings.

One thing that is sure not to change in all of this is the user, and while channels of messaging increase and become more fragmented, the need to centralize communications becomes greater than ever. It’s the evolution of the webmail platform that has been driving this change in centralizing communications – pulling in different messaging streams into one home, accessible across a range of devices.

This is where OX App Suite comes in: we’ve mastered email, and are advancing how integrating social feeds across the communication cycle are changing how people work. Next up, is voice and video — powered by Voiceworks – and meshing-up productivity work flows and how we daily keep in touch stay private. And with our open architecture, there are no limits to what else can be integrated within OX App Suite: making people’s creation and sharing of personal content a more seamless part of a secure web experience. What software do you trust to deliver you this experience and value?

avatar Rafael Laguna, CEO, Open-Xchange

Breaking down the Internet’s walled gardens

It’s no secret to those of us in the open source community how open technology brings a necessary visibility and transparency that creates countless opportunities to improve and enhance technology. Yet, despite the obvious (to us) industry-wide benefits of open source, many leading technology companies are still taking a “walled garden” approaches to their products and services that stifles innovation.

The Internet, as Tim Berners-Lee envisioned it when he created the World Wide Web, is supposed to be the great democratizer. But today, giant companies are still using gated ecosystems to lock customers in, inhibiting the potential to expand, improve and innovate the Web. Even more important than this innovation hurdle is the harm walled gardens create in terms of transparency, openness and security.

We have been lulled in to the state where we must provide more and more information to our captors to get the services they provide. In some cases, the companies that create walled gardens have become actual Data States, which hold all our data and are arguably more influential than most nation states. Along with organizations like the NSA, Data States threaten the democratic nature of the Internet.

But there’s hope. The closed off practices of many walled garden organizations are catching up with them as users are standing up to challenge the status quo and take back their Internet freedoms. The backlash against walled gardens has resulted in several recent changes of hears, with major companies reversing their traditionally closed policies in the name of protecting privacy, choice and openness.

For example, Apple recently revealed at its latest developer conference that the new iOS will be more open, granting developers access to key parts of the iOS code, creating a more collaborative Apple community. Similarly, Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, is rapidly changing the company’s direction as they focus on mobile and cloud.

Formerly perhaps the best example of a Data State, Microsoft is to some degree embracing open source culture because it knows it is the best way to succeed in the more flexible world of the cloud, and is also key to maintaining trust among its users in the post-Snowden era. Just have a look at the debate that is now brewing over Microsoft’s Dublin data center and their legal team now gearing up to contest the ruling earlier this year to hand over one of their customer’s data wholesale.

This trend is spreading outside the software industry, too. Tesla Motors recently announced it will make its patents publically available, a step towards open sourcing the automobile industry as an effort to spur more innovation and growth for electric cars. For both the electric car industry and the software industry alike, steps toward openness and standardization are the best way to break down the walled gardens, which have too long promoted secrecy, undermined privacy and discouraged innovation.

The days of closed innovation models are going away; now we must focus on connecting human innovation and freedom across the ways we work and play. That’s why our claim to “Stay Open” is an important call we must unify around. When we don’t stay open to demand honest business models for our digital lives (vs. the exploitation of convenience), the walled gardens of the current Internet won’t have windows.

I recently wrote more on this topic in a post for WIRED, which you can read here


Open-Xchange adds reseller deployment model; opex, time to market

Guest Blog by Phil Shih, Structure Research

Summary: Open-Xchange introduced a new deployment model for the App Suite messaging and collaboration platform called OX-as-a-Service.

Details: OX-as-a-Service is a hosted version of the OX App Suite run in third party data centres and managed by Open-Xchange. We confirmed with OX that the service will start in two data centres: one in Germany and one in the US. The German data centre is in Hamburg. In the US OX will partner with Hostway and house the service in a data centre in Chicago. OX will host and manage the service and customers can opt out whenever they want and host on their own if they wish.

New deployment model about options: The offering is for hosters, service providers and telcos that do not want to build out infrastructure and simply sell the service directly to customers. This will reduce time to market and lower upfront investment. They can consume in an opex model and avoid a capex outlay.

Partners: Telecom Italia Digital Solutions is one of the first partners for OX-as-a-Service. It will sell the service hosted out of the Hamburg, Germany data centre. Telecom Italia us using Parallels Automation as its delivery platform.

Angle: This is about knocking down barriers and making it easier for hosters and service providers to jump into this offering. The sales cycle can often be long and the technical implementation stage takes time and energy as well. OX is taking this out of the equation and reducing risk. OX is obviously highly qualified to run the service and this ultimately makes it an on-boarding tool. Hosters can continue to learn how to run the service while they are reselling it and gain the expertise over time rather than rushing into it. This makes even more sense for telcos and integrators that have very limited infrastructure delivery capabilities and resources. The model also makes sense for hosters that are probably concerned with using email and collaboration tools to build relationships with customers and sell value-add on top.

*Disclosure: Open-Xchange is a Structure Research subscriber.

avatar Rafael Laguna, CEO, Open-Xchange

Can WebRTC defeat the OTT?

Fixed line telecom and cable providers have been faced with the problem of being a ‘dumb pipe’ for some time now, while mobile carriers have seen profit margins grow. But in an age of 4G LTE connections, mobile operators are now experiencing the same set of problems of fixed-line providers – OTT services can now be offered to a high enough standard to eat into the profits of the core voice product.

3G connections facilitated OTT short messaging apps like WhatsApp, which almost singlehandedly killed the SMS cash cow. OTT talk and video services such as Skype and Viber are now having a same effect with 4G connections, particularly in terms of devouring the market share for long distance and international calls.

Previous attempts by carriers at combatting these OTT services have failed because they relied on the use of native applications and proprietary protocols. Why would customers use an app that would only allow them to contact other people on the same network when there is already a service that anyone can access regardless of network?

WebRTC is different in that it is built on open protocols and APIs and can run in the browser – there is no need to download and install another app to run it. Depending on how the WebRTC deployment is configured, the person you wish to communicate to won’t need an app or an account to speak with you – all that is required is a link for WebRTC to open in their browser. This makes WebRTC more open and accessible than even the most widely used OTT voice and video apps and services.

The potential of WebRTC as a unified communications (UC) platform is enormous. It can easily be integrated by carriers into new or existing customer cloud services to add further value, potentially create new revenue streams or to simply offer an alternative to OTT services. Above all, it offers choice to operators and the ability to add innovative new services on top of their existing offerings, without the need to replace an entire communications ecosystem.

For WebRTC to succeed, all – or at least a majority of operators – need to embrace the open standards that it is built around. Without cooperation or standardisation, carriers will inevitably develop siloed apps or services that will offer customers no incentive to move off the OTT services in the long run.

4G mobile connections are still very much in the minority, so the battle hasn’t been lost yet. 3G OTT voice and video is still too flaky for users to have totally abandoned the core voice product, so carriers still have some time to combat the growth to offer an alternative.

Our newest product, OX Messenger, built on the WebRTC framework from Voiceworks, is a good example of a UC solution built on open standards. Using standards such as SIP, XMPP and WebRTC, OX Messenger works in most browsers without requiring any plugins. Additionally, because of the use of SIP, OX Messenger can integrate with existing PBX and UC systems in the customers premise, allowing the customer to pick up and answer regular PBX voice and video calls straight from OX App Suite.

OX Messenger is scheduled to be launched at our next annual customer and partner conference, OX Summit, in Munich on September 18. Don´t miss this opportunity and learn how to provide the next level of Cloud services with an open and trusted partner ecosystem.

avatar Jon McCarrick

South Beach Is Hot With All NEW OX Products to Demo

I know you are looking forward to Miami as much as I am.  It looks like HostingCon is going to have some really fun events and I hear lots of exciting news getting ready to come out at the show. I know that Open-Xchange is going to be sharing some cool new stuff.

Join us to hear Bob Krulcik´s keynote “Four Commandments for Trusted Cloud Services” at 9:00 am on June 18.

Come discover – at the OX booth (#736)– the new products and opportunity that our customer engagement portal is providing to hosting and cloud providers. OX App Suite is the unified communication, collaboration and productivity core Apps that providers are using to white-label, extend and massively scale their cloud-based portfolios and revenues.

In fact, we will be showing:

UPDATED- OX App Suite- HTML 5 based user interface for use on all devices including tablets has been updated for even easier use.

NEW!!! OX Spreadsheet- Our second cloud office app from the former Open Office Team after our OX Text product last year

NEW!!! OX Messenger- Add presence indicators, chat, voice and video conferencing to our already world class communications suite.

NEW!!! OX Guard- Add encryption to SMB email and file storage that anyone can use to keep snooping noses out.

NEW!!! APS 2 Module- Put OX App Suite right into your Parallels Automation interface

If you would like to schedule a meeting to get your own personal walk through, email me at jonathan.mccarrick AT open-xchange.com

Jon McCarrick, Director of Hosting Evangelism

avatar Rafael Laguna, CEO, Open-Xchange

Trusted partners. Trusted services.

At the recent World Hosting Days, Julian Assange delivered a stark warning about the future of our data, and the ownership of our own digital content. “We’re losing control” was the message, and it is a real challenge for our industry.

If the Snowden revelations taught us anything, it’s that responsibility to protect content lies with the user – we sadly can’t trust the big Internet companies when it comes to managing our personal data. In our eyes, customers need the combination of  a honest service provider that do not fool around with users´ data and software that takes care of content encryption to provide the bedrock for secure services both now and in the future.

Since 2006, we’ve enjoyed a long standing partnership with 1&1, one of the world’s largest hosting companies. It was, in fact, our first customer that accelerated our position as a SaaS pioneer; its owner, United Internet, is actually an investor in Open-Xchange. Our relationship with 1&1 means that all users can genuinely take security into their own hands, making people truly responsible for their own content.

This approach is all about being able to manage your digital life through one, easy-to-use service. 1&1 MailXchange is now based on the OX App Suite, which does just that – providing 1&1’s users with a consolidated platform for all their digital activities. It enables people to manage their photos, videos and music, as well as their emails, contacts, Twitter and Facebook feeds via an intuitive, user-friendly interface – and across all devices.

We may no longer live in a PC world but there are a few relics still hanging around, such as Outlook. It’s a system that works on desktop but is not as intuitive on other devices. Our approach is that email needs to work responsively across all platforms – allowing for effective collaboration while most importantly being secure.

1&1 users can access their webmail and mail exchange on any device without the need to synchronize. 1&1 MailXchange powered by OX App Suite automatically sets the best view for the user’s device –  scaling to provide a seamless, responsive experience from desktop to mobile device. It is also automatically restored, meaning there is no loss of data if connection is lost and allowing productivity to continue in unstable conditions. 

If we play the email and apps game by the big internet players’ rules that build their business on selling users´ data we’re surrendering our data and freedom of communication. They will own it, and only let us access it on their terms. Our 1&1 partnership is built from the shared belief in empowering users to take full ownership of their own personal, private digital domains. Now is the time to redefine our relationship with our data, by taking control, owning it and using it on our terms.


The Future of Communications Open: Is SIP dead or not?

By Stijn Nijhuis, CEO, Voiceworks

What’s happening in the telecom industry? The recent statement of Microsoft, during an Enterprise Connect panel on UC federation caused a big buzz in our industry. Albert Kooiman, senior product marketing manager for Lync at Microsoft said that SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), a protocol that among others is used for Voice over IP (VoIP), will die. Some are in favor of this statement and some disagree, like us.

Viewpoint Microsoft

Gina Narcisi wrote on TechTarget the following about the statement of Microsoft: Kooiman said most users don’t realize the “world is moving on” from UC federation. “While federation is very important, it’s going to be very dependent on the modernization of communication networks. I actually dare to say that SIP is dead.” Microsoft argues that UC federation has historically allowed interoperability between disparate vendor instant messaging (IM) and presence platforms. But another important piece of UC federation is enabling real-time communications, such as audio and video functionality, to work together. While many of the major UC players, such as Cisco and Microsoft, are using open standards like SIP and Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), full interoperability with a competing vendor’s collaboration solution is unlikely. Some providers deliver interoperability with the major vendors, often using SIP, but these integrations are still limited. “UC federation is no longer about interoperability between UC vendor platforms, but the integration with platforms like Facebook and Google +”, Kooiman said. “Google used to support platforms like us with XMPP, but now they know there is going to be a new era of networks in which enterprises choose one group of providers and stay within that walled garden.”

Viewpoint Voiceworks and Open-Xchange

On this topic, Open-Xchange and Voiceworks fundamentally differ with Microsoft’s opinion and where the future of unified communications will be. By delivering services within a walled garden, end-customers and resellers limit their choice to pick the ‘right’ software for the ‘right’ challenge and therefore limit overall innovation and acceptance of new services. And since they don’t have the freedom to make their own choices, people are stuck being forced to play into the business benefits of the wall garden vendor. This is not beneficial to end-customers; some even see it as patronizing. This is one of the reasons why Voiceworks has been delivering SMB VoIP services since 2005 using open standards such as SIP. All our VoIP services can be used in combination with more than 150 types of 3rd party PBX brands and types, which has largely contributed to our exponential growth within The Netherlands. We firmly believe in the benefits of an open platform and a hybrid ecosystem.

With open standards, one can easily make adjustments and improvements, without having to reinvent the wheel by being able to leverage existing components adopting the same open standards, which results in higher quality products. A hybrid ecosystem is a solid solution for companies with a working telephony exchange, which still doesn’t need to be replaced. Moreover, another benefit of a hybrid ecosystem is the ability to use specialized tools for specialized tasks, without losing the benefits of tight integration using open standards.

Open-Xchange newest product, OX Messenger, built on the WebRTC framework from Voiceworks, is a good example of a UC solution built on open standards. Using standards such as SIP, XMPP and WebRTC, OX Messenger works in most browsers without requiring any plugins. Additionally, because of the use of SIP, OX Messenger can integrate with existing PBX and UC systems in the customers premise, allowing the customer to pick up and answer regular PBX voice and video calls straight from OX App Suite.

By providing interconnects to third party PBX-platforms, Voiceworks has managed to offer clients and resellers a range of choice and above all – the ability to add innovative new services on top of their existing offerings, without the need to replace an entire communications ecosystem.

It’s good to remember, it was just last year that the market saw the 1 billionth browser/device use the WebRTC standard. And with Microsoft voicing such opinions above last week, and Apple not having WebRTC Safari support until 2015: a healthy debate will continue around the voice integration standard that ultimately end-users will adopt. But with the second billion users accelerating the usage of mobility, videoconferencing, collaboration, presence, unifed calendaring…etc., real-time communications, VoIP and SIP do play a key role. For one vendor to deliver the best solution on all fronts is almost impossible, thus walled gardens won’t hold and openness and partnerships are critical.

What standard do you see deciding the future standard of communications and why?


Don´t blame Heartbleed on Open Source

By Peter Ganten, CEO, Univention

Thanks to the Heartbleed bug a growing number of people in the media claim a precarious situation of Open Source projects leading to problems like Heartbleed. I think this is not only plain wrong, it is a very dangerous position to maintain. Why?

First, bugs and even very dangerous bugs do occur in Open Source Software as well as in very well funded proprietary software from Oracle, Microsoft or Adobe. It is not so much the matter of funding, determining how secure or insecure software is.

Second, responsibility for a software product or other IT related offerings like cloud services lies primarily with the vendor of those products and not with the Open Source projects, which give the software used for the offering away as a gift for free. So, in the case of Heartbleed all the banks and web-shops using OpenSSL, service providers like Google and vendors of software products like Red Hat or Univention have to take care of the security of their offerings. If they are smart, they will typically work with the respective project, of cause.

Third, so many Open Source projects started inside Start-Ups, as student projects or because of the will and imagination of other enthusiasts. Financially the situation of those projects is „precarious“ by definition at least at the very beginning. We need those projects to drive innovation, but we should not expect them to work like commercial vendors of hardened security software from day one. Again, it is in the responsibility of those using the code of these projects to assess their security and support improvement.

And finally we should not forget that Open Source Software enables vendors (and users) not only to assess and review the security features of software, it even allows them to engage and work with others to enhance it. This, of course is the daily routine of Open Source Software vendors.

avatar Frank Hoberg, Executive VP - Sales

An Honest Business Model…How David Defeats Goliath in the Cloud

Honesty, trust and transparency; key qualities for any business, especially in an ever increasingly connected age. They are also the founding principles of the World Wide Web – but you wouldn’t necessarily know it by the way large Internet companies act today.

Trust is fundamental to any relationship, be it between a business and their customers or online companies with their users. The summer of Snowden blew the doors open on trust; casting into question whether we, as humans, can trust our governments and the way they track and use our personal data. And with more and more of our data being stored virtually, cloud services found themselves front and centre in the debate. Brand reputations were called into question. All of us began to ask whether we could really trust any of the internet giants with our data.

It’s never been a secret that the likes of Facebook for example have relished in collecting our data for aggressive advertising and marketing purposes. It was almost so ingrained – and the brand so trusted – that it was never questioned. Big mistake. Now the frequency with which large online oligarchs are monetizing and using said data is alarming – and in a post-Snowden world, users are no longer accepting. They certainly no longer automatically place their trust in the big brand names.

Cue opportunities for smaller, more personal web hosting distributors to showcase a different way. A way where resellers and web agencies are known in person and given one-on-one attention, and honesty and trust are the building blocks of the relationship. A way in which customers feel safe in the knowledge that they retain sight of the sensitive business data they have entrusted.

Cue David beating Goliath in the cloud. Cue Resello.

As a smaller, more personal web hosting distributor, many of Resello’s resellers are SMEs, small offices or even home workers, often without an in-house IT department. Its focus is to forge deep relationships with its client base, helping to give them the edge needed in an increasingly competitive online marketplace. And that’s where we’ve been able to help. By providing a hosted OX App Suite solution to their reseller customers, Resello has been able to offer a more open, flexible and affordable browser based communication solution – that can genuinely be trusted.

In the shadow of Snowden, it’s tremendously reassuring that more and more, “David’s” like Resello are choosing to start-up the fight against the Internet Goliaths and for individual users and businesses. Needless to say, we’re incredibly proud of our new partnership and the growing call for a clear and open, multi-stakeholder community to bring back the value and trust upon which the Internet was founded.

Now cue in the chance that you may be in Munich Apr. 28-30th: meet the Open-Xchange team to discuss just how OX App Suite and a honest business model can position your Cloud business to win at the Telco Cloud World Forum.