On 4 Aug 2009, at 08:21, Dylan Jay wrote:

I'm not sure where this leaves us, but I think that it is really interesting that plone as a community doesn't know much about its integrators. A survey on all the companies servicing plone would make an excellent talk at the conference... at least for me.

Think about it this way. If Plone were a propriatory product, the mother company would know a awful lot about it's value added resellers. The reason is, they are an essential part of creating a successful product. Modern software companies know that enabling your channel partners and resellers to make a successful business means the product gets out there and in more useful ways than the mother company ever could by itself. Plone as a community is as interested in growth as much any propriatory company is. Understanding our who our integrators are could be a valuable first step to increasing it's take up.

Right. This was something I talked to Dave Shapiro (and Karl Horek maybe?) about at the last Plone Conf. We were talking about a 'Plone Census' of some kind. Using the details that are in plone.net to start with we were going to call/email around every company listed on plone.net (break it up into sections and divide to a group of volunteers) and 1) prompt each of them to update their details on plone.net. 2) prompt them about sponsorship etc. We were also I think going to try and get some more metrics and information from them.

I really think that plone.net could possibly do with some love beforehand, and bring it on brand with the new plone.org. Then maybe do a push to integrators after that.

I like the talk idea. What sort of form would you see it having? Would it be a case of a survey done beforehand and then the results announced, discussed etc during the talk? There is going to a un- conference style day as one day of the Plone Conf in which talks will be spontaneously proposed, maybe it could be something you might want to champion there?

At the moment I think we are often trying to pitch against the big boys saying our system can do everything they can. But maybe the message that Umbraco is using is 'we are lighter/smaller/quicker/ cheaper etc' than the big boys. I know in reality Plone can/does use both messages.

We generally pitch it as an enterprise system for those that want more flexibility. Plone isn't really simple enough for a small web consultancy to pick up for the odd jobs. It's really a full time thing. We also try to sell it into the bigger market because plone plone can compete where others can't... workflow, flexible security, web document management, multisite deployments, so the customers value it more.

If you want something to put up a quick brochure ware site then your compete against all teh cheap php coders and it's a waste of plone talent.

I agree 100% with this. And I think we pitch it at a similar market to you guys.

What I guess I really wanted to get some thoughts on in this thread was the topic that Janus raised in his blog post and email... about Plone consultancy company sizes versus other projects (such as Umbraco). Does size matter? If so, why? Comparing Umbraco's 'certified partner' list there is 15 companies listed, versus over 300 on plone.net. Does the number of companies matter? Umbraco also have a list of 'certified developers' who have undergone some kind of test (10 multiple choice questions from a random pool). They have 150 developers listed there. We have 120 Plone Foundation members. I know we've talked about certification and what it means many times before in the Plone community, and I don't think we ever reached any kind of decision.

So... does size matter?


Matt Hamilton                                       ma...@netsight.co.uk
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