Between 19th and 21st of June, Pentalog attended the Solutions Linux Open Source trade show. We were easy to spot: we were in Orange and had a nice QR code on the back.As for myself, I attended the trade show to join my colleagues Sophie, Pierre, Mickaël and Hélène in welcoming visitors at our booth on June 20th. During these three days of the trade show, more than 7,500 people may have attended this 2012 edition.I was also one of the players of the round table “What are the roles of free software in the cloud?” in which the following also took part:- Jean-Pierre LAISNE, Manager of the Open Source Bull strategy and Vice-President of OW2,- Laurent SEGUIN, President, AFUL,- Frédéric AATZ, Manager of MICROSOFT‘s interoperability strategy- Ludovic DUBOST, Xwiki Manager,- Raphaël FERREIRA, Co-Founder of ENOVANCE,- Frédéric FAURE, Technical referral manager for the cloud computing offer, YSANCE,- Fabien PINCKAERS, CEO, OpenERP.Quite a prominent group. It was a surprise to see Microsoft at this trade show and at this conference. We were assured of their intentions to support the Open Source hosted in their cloud services. This remains to be seen when it comes to the conditions they set for the integration of these solutions. We’ll see who will be favored when it comes to choosing between in-house and Open Source products.The round-table discussions started with a challenge of the AFUL president, who has announced from the outset that the cloud and the free software are not compatible as they don’t share the same values. I disagree with his approach because it relies on the comparison of different things (the tools on the one hand, and the infrastructure on the other hand) and because the values related to “mutualization”, “implementation autonomy” and “having a clear worldwide approach” are widely shared between the two.Then, several themes have been discussed at the round table:- Cloud for the OpenSource publishers: Monetization or Distribution?There has been a dynamic exchange between the two Open Source publishers who took part in the round-table discussions (Xwiki & OpenERP) on the cloud topic in relation to their solutions. If they could believe at first that the cloud could be a possibility to monetize their service, they prefer to focus their monetization on the related services. The cloud was only a distribution model.– What about an Open cloud contract?One of the recurrent subjects around the cloud is the contract. Each service provider has its own contract, hardly comparable service quality, different engagements and so on. One of the conclusions on this subject has been the fact that it could be interesting to have a shared contract available for cloud service players in order to have a common base and common vocabulary. But implementing such a thing won’t be easy.On the same theme, we have discussed the availability level of cloud services, especially the fact that certain companies boast a contractual commitment of 100% availability. Feasible or not, we are all aware of the fact this is, above all, a selling argument which is a less expensive marketing tool for acquiring a new client than the penalties to be paid.– Are there any differences between the quality of cloud services based on free layers and those based on private layers?There was not enough time to discuss the topic at great length, but, as far as I am concerned, I am convinced that a cloud with private layers and another one with Open Source layers can provide services of equivalent quality. Everything depends on what we request from this cloud and the manner in which the solutions are implemented.I have already expressed my view on the topic of cloud and free software in a recent post. The free software market has developed without the cloud. With the cloud, it will be able to acquire new levels of maturity.As for Cornel, he led the round-table discussions on the subject “Open Source or SaaS? What are the solutions for the emerging collaboration between companies?”, while Sébastien focused on the round-table discussions on “How to choose one’s back-end depending on one’s needs”. Both of them seemed pleased with their round-table discussions.Sophie will be able to acknowledge the quality of her contacts, but it seemed fruitful. Finally, the noisiest moments of the trade show were the anti-ACTA rounds searching for Windows and other pirates of the trade-show.The weeks and months to come will confirm whether the participation in this trade-show is an interesting commercial track for Pentalog.___________________________________________________________________________________________Articles on the same topic: Cloud computingOur cloud computing offer.