CH Open Source Awards 2011

Winner of the CH Open Source Awards 2011

The Swiss Open Systems User Group / ch / open presented the Open Source Awards on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 in the Zurich hub. The awards honor previous commitment to the promotion of open source software in Switzerland. The jury had to select the best from 39 entries in the categories Business Case, Community and Youth.

This year’s CH Open Source Awards go to frentix GmbH in the Business Case category Kolab Groupware in the Community category and to Drupal developers Sascha Grossenbacher as the winner of the newly created junior category, as well as Archivista in the form of a special award.

The winners from left to right: Florian Gnägi (frentix), Georg Greve (Kolab), Urs Pfister (Archivista), Sascha Grossenbacher (Drupal)

Winner business case

Frentix was able to convince the most in the Business Case category.

Jury member Matthias Günther (IGE) explains the open source learning management system OLAT and its commercialization by the company frentix GmbH:
“OLAT is the latest generation of learning management systems. The freely available version of OLAT is already very powerful. Frentix takes on the task of a core committer and maintainer and thus ensures a sustainable development cycle “ Florian Gnägi (frentix), Raoul Schmidinger (EFG)

The frentix team is delighted to receive this award. In the last five years we have continuously built up and expanded the company frentix and our business model around the open source e-learning system OLAT. During this time we were an active OLAT Core Community member and have worked intensively on building the software and the community with continuous code contributions and public relations work. The fact that we can now accept this award in the “Business Case” area for OLATpro and our services is great and strengthens us in our open source strategy. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the other OLAT contributors for their work. Together we have put together a strong product with a wide range of functions. We would also like to thank the / ch / open board of directors and the jury for their commitment and the sponsor of the Business Case Awards EFG Financial Products AG, thank you very much!

The business case of the company Frentix contains an exceptionally high proportion of open source, so it is not surprising that the award this year went to the developers of the open source system OLAT. However, Frentix also owes this high proportion of open source to the fact that it emerged as a spin-off company directly from the open source project OLAT. Together with two other students, today’s managing director Florian Gnägi initiated the development of OLAT at the University of Zurich over ten years ago.
OLAT is a comprehensive e-learning system that can be used in companies, schools or educational institutes. The integrated approach leads to a consistent behavior and a uniform look & feel of all tools, which benefits the usability and thus the usability. If the user has understood the basic concepts of OLAT, it is easy to enrich an e-learning course with additional course components such as blog, wiki, forum or an online test, explains Gnägi. Juror Sebastian Spaeth explained that the Frentix solution shows that a classic business model based on open source products is also possible. «We are very happy and proud of the award and are extremely pleased. It shows that our long-term investments in the open source system OLAT are being recognized and also recognized outside of our clientele. Of course we were hoping for first place, but we didn’t expect it. The other nominees also had interesting things to offer, so we are all the more pleased that we were able to assert ourselves with our commercial extensions and services for the open source e-learning system OLAT ”, says Gnägi.

Winner Contribution

In the Community category, Kolab was the measure of all things.

Sebastian Spaeth, jury member and renowned open source researcher at ETH, declares the community award winner, the Kolab Groupware:
“Kolab is a unique groupware with fantastic features, which also offers a comfortable migration path away from proprietary standard solutions and is very consistently based on open standards. It is impressive how a self-sustaining international community has built up around the project initiated by a German Federal Office and how it is now jointly cultivating and developing it “Boris Kraft (Magnolia), Georg Greve (Kolab)

It is a great pleasure and honor for us to receive the award on behalf of our colorful and diverse community. We are of course particularly pleased that the jury noticed the special features of our community and rated it so highly: We always work as closely as possible with the ‘upstream’ communities for the components used, mostly even directly as part of these communities, such as by Cyrus or KDE. All our contributions go back to the respective projects as well as all our users receive the rights and possibilities of Free Software in full and make active use of them. Customers, on the other hand, receive the right level of support from Kolab Systems and our enterprise community without having to deal with the complexities of the technology. Of course, our thanks also go to / ch / open for hosting this award and making the event a very successful one!

In the community category Kolab won with the solution for personal information management (PIM). Georg Greve, CEO of Kolab Systems AG, is delighted with the victory and the recognition. “The other nominees were very strong and would therefore all have what it takes to win,” explains Greve.Kolab is very special because of its community. It is an intersection of different communities, as the Kolab groupware solution is highly modular and there are different options for almost every component. The special thing about the solution is its flexibility and scalability, both factors that make heterogeneous environments and very large installations possible, explains Greve. The solution offers a groupware client on Linux, Windows and Mac that is comparable to Microsoft Outlook (Windows & Mac only). Kolab thus fills an important strategic gap in the area of free software comparable to in the office area. The Kolab Groupware Solution is without compromise Free Software / Open Source, with a fully functional community version and an enterprise-ready version “Certified Kolab” which differs from the community version only in customer and platform-specific aspects as well as the higher QA (Quality Assurance) requirements. Both versions are 100 percent open source and are developed in cooperation with many communities. When asked how Kolab will celebrate the victory, Greve replied: “We are part of an international group of companies and a complex community that extends over several time zones. Therefore, we will probably celebrate a little with all participating employees and the corresponding communities at the next Free Software conference.

Winner Youth

Sascha Grossenbacher won the Youth category.

Jan Fülscher, member of the jury and startup coach, sums up the efforts of Sascha Grossenbacher, the winner of the Youth category, as follows:
“Excellent work for one of the most important content management systems” David Krebs (Mimacom), Sascha Grossenbacher (MD Systems)

I am very happy about this award and especially about the positive publicity for Open Source and Drupal. Thanks to Drupal, I also benefited a lot and so it was always a matter of course for me to be able to give something back and work on it myself. Thanks to the very friendly, accommodating community of Drupal, it was easy for me to get started and working on and with Drupal has always been very exciting and pleasant. This collaboration and the associated presence within the community have opened many doors for me professionally. After completing my studies, I was able to work productively as a Drupal developer at MD Systems right from the start and didn’t have to familiarize myself with proprietary solutions.

Drupal 7 has reached the public and Sascha Grossenbacher’s work has practically reached the masses. More than 1% of all web inquiries are made today Drupal answered. As of April 19, 2010, 6,011 patches had been submitted to the Drupal 7 branch by 732 people. With 81 accepted core patches, Sascha Grossenbacher is in 15th place among the global contributors, well above all other Swiss developers. He made an important part for Drupal 7. A short one report on our homepage. His commitment is mainly directed towards modules which represent typical core elements of a community. Important & known modules that are maintained by him: private messages among participants (16687 websites), Points / rating system from users , Relationships between users . And he also does the term paper together with his fellow student Peter Stöckli Dynamic Properties realized for MD Systems in the fall semester. In the future, the young project will gain additional relevance in the area of e-commerce with Drupal.

Winner special

A special award was given to Archivista.

Jury member Matthias Günther (IGE) says about Archivista:
Archivista was a pioneer in Switzerland in the area of combining open source and business solutions. With the additional bundling of hardware (and the “recycling” of old hardware), Archivista has succeeded in creating a product whose long service life and success exemplarily shows how open source software can be used in business-critical areas “

We are delighted to receive the 2011 award. When we switched to open source in 2004/2005, we initially ‘fought’ on two sides. Compared to the open source community, which initially believed that our commitment was purely of a marketing technical nature, but also on the customer side, who initially (at least for the most part) did not really know what open source was. But it was only thanks to Open Source that we were able to actually implement the ArchivistaBox concept (hardware, software and support from a single source). Without Open Source, our solutions (operating system and applications) could never be set up in 1 to 2 minutes, nor could we give a 30-year guarantee on the archived data with the document management ArchivistaDMS. The SwissRocket virtualization cluster would not have come into being without open source, which means that neither we nor our customers would be able to afford a high-availability VM solution. Thanks to open source, we implemented the VESR integration within a few hours, without the GPL license it would have been at least a few days, if not weeks. These are all a few examples of why we would never want to be without open source again today. We would like to thank the jury very much for the 2011 Award, it will give us a lot of incentive, now and in the future, to push the ArchivistaBox as a business box with great strength and vigor. Thank you!

The company Archivista, which has been active in the open source business since 1999, was honored for its long-term commitment to open source and its use. Archivista produces box-based embedded solutions in the areas of document management (DMS) and virtualization. Urs Pfister, Managing Director of Archivista GmbH, explained: “The Swiss Open Source Award 2011 was given to us for our longstanding commitment in the field of open source. I would like to go one step further, without Open Source the ArchivistaBox would not exist. Thanks to Open Source, we can implement solutions for our customers that would not be possible without Open Source. Open source has therefore become indispensable for us, yes, open source is addicting (even after more than seven years)! “