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Friday, April 03, 2009

Open is the New Cool - Open breakfast with Sun and SIME in Stockholm

I attended the Sun Open Breakfast event that took place at the IVA conference center in Stockholm on April 2. Map of location. This was the first in a series of 'open' breakfast events hosted by Sun Microsystems and SIME. The event was introduced by Ola Ahlvarsson from SIME introducing Stefan Alariksson, the CEO of Sun in Sweden.

Open is the new cool

Stefan explained how and why Sun has moved from being mainly associated with server hardware to an open software and solutions company. Sun has with their packaged solutions of open source software been growing and gaining more customers. Sun in Sweden has about 2B SEK in revenue out of about 200 employees. Stefan also talked about the fact that despite what a lot people think, how can you make any money with open source?, you can, by getting faster and bigger penetration on the market, you classify customers into different segments. The individual user who downloads a copy of MySQL will not want to pay for the software or services but a successful corporate customer needs and wants to pay for qualified professional services. So even if only 10% of the customers pay, Sun is making money.

Open Minds panel discussion

Henrik Torstensson, head of strategy at Stardoll - a site targetting tween girls and general manaer Piczo, a social networking site where you can easily design your own site, blog, avatars and use games, music, quizzes...

Ulf Ekberg, music entrepreneur from the group Ace of Base and into new business models for the musicians.

Fredrik Runnquist, former IT boss at Swedbank and board member in several corporations.

Stefan Alariksson, CEO Sun Microsystems

Good information was presented, nothing new if you are in this business, but talk about efficient business models, penetration of market share, having real customers, working relations, scalability, value of partnering...

An open table discussion followed. My personal take on this was that there is not enough time to actively start such a discussion, I think for the next event, it would be better if the organizers
focus on a theme and have branch specific people giving their feedback with a possibility to let people participating in the event have a chance to do select networking.

Anders Carlsarv, head of sales, Sun Microsystems, concluded by announcing next Open Breakfast event, May 7 which will focus on Cloud Computing. Monitor for coming events. Sun has recently published a white paper on Cloud Computing, for more info about this area, see

Thanks to the sponsors also for an excellent breakfast.