Open Source vendor relations



While recent years have seen some commercial vendors incorporate a community focus, there is still a discernible difference between dealing with open-source projects, open-source companies, and proprietary providers.


This talk will provide a series of mini case studies of dealings with a spectrum of (anonymous) vendors across open and closed-source solutions. What can we learn about choosing the right vendor? Does everyone do “community” the same way? How do we eventually determine the value of what the provider has, whether it be based on support or open-ness?

Just because an IT department may need to shift how they spend their time when dealing with a “non-supported” solution does not mean you’ll be throwing your money away in the process of managing it yourself. You’ll need to make a case not only to your organization that this is time well spent, but also to yourself, because the different businesses and communities are understandably as different as the people that make them up. This talk aims to provide insightful tips and guidelines for navigating vendor relations and decisions, particularly those that intersect with the realm of open source.

Speaking experience


  • Wedding


    Eric Searcy is an Oregon native and social ballroom dancer who, for his day job, architects and manages IT solutions. His experience includes working with web, monitoring, and automation for OSU Open Source Lab projects including Drupal,, and the Participatory Culture Foundation (Miro) as well as managing IT infrastructure at the Linux Foundation, including collaborative services and