Last weekend, there has been the Kolab Summit 2.0 in Nürnberg: see and

Unfortunately I was not able to go there myself. Fortunately, all the sessions have been published on Youtube!

So here are the links, and some minutes for some of the sessions. Obviously my summary is not complete, so you better watch the videos yourself!

Friday morning, first sessions: “Welcome” by Georg Greve, and “Tech Plan / Technical Roadmap” by Aaron Seigo


Welcome, by Georg Greve

  • Georg welcomes everyone
  • 0:40 talks about the onsite live demo with a Power8 machine running Kolab
  • 1:55 describing talk from Aaron Seigo: “where we are technically and where things are going”
  • 2:15 welcoming Dr. Wolfgang Maier from IBM, Böblingen. Talking about POWER, the future. Nano technology, nano tubes, things running faster and faster, we are hitting physical barriers, need to find better and new ways
  • 3:23 welcoming Julian Höppner: give us a legal perspective on EU legislation. Safe harbour is dead, privacy shield is about to die, will not last long. Just after the Brexit referendum. Question: where will the pieces fall? Talk about building the technology that actually can give you confidence in collaboration back. Entire spectrum: Hardware, powerful, build yourself, validate, Operating Systems. SUSE and RedHat run both on POWER very well. Solution on top, obviously Kolab.
  • 5:10 welcoming Hans de Raad: Niche market perspective. works with Kolab Systems in the health care sector.
  • 6:00 announcing barbecue for the afternoon
  • 6:50 introducing the Kolab Systems staff: Aaron CTO, Jeroen Senior Architect, Mads technical team manager, Christian leading desktop client, currently Kontact/kdepim and Kube in the future. check his blog
    Alec: working on the webclient Roundcube, and
  • 8:20 this is an interactive event, get engaged, collaborate!

Tech Plan / Technical Roadmap, by Aaron Seigo

  • 9:35 Making Kolab Great, Again. give an idea to everyone: where we are going, where we were. where we are now as well.
  • 10:40 last year: talk a lot about features. this year: talk about results of a lot of work in 2015 and this year
  • 11:05 Releasing Kolab: past: community edition and enterprise edition. community edition every 6 months. enterprise stabilized things. Did not always work according to plan. Introduced phabricator to better organize development and releases.
  • 11:50 Release Schedule, rhythm. Kolab 16 is the first release according to this new release schedule.
    January: new major release. significant new technology previews. major new components, features. introducing things that are still little experimental. let the users/customers play with it. eg. guam (imap filtering), manticore (collaborative editing) in Kolab 16. public access for everyone, participate, install, use it, give feedback
  • 13:10 March/June: team and community works on feedback, bug reports. work on stability update, eg 16.1 or 16.2; this is then recommended for production use. refering to showing the recommended production version. commercial support available. 5 years of extended support begins.
  • 14:45 September/October => Feature Freeze. candidates for inclusion in the next major release in January. Focus on stability and performance. Integration and Packaging. Upgrade paths.
  • 15:50 Platform support: define a little more explicitly what platforms we are supporting and on what level. this year we introduced Winterfell which is kind of a rolling release build version of Kolab. Anyone from the Community and Kolab Systems can target it towards any OS.
  • 16:45 Tiered support strategy: Primary (packages available on release day); Alternate (guarantueed availability, but with time delay), Experimental (may be available, may be dropped. Realm of Winterfell. Supported by community, with contributions from Kolab Systems as well); Hardware and OS can move between those tiers. depending on what people are actually using. good quality products on what people are actually using.
  • 18:10 Hardware: primary platform: remains x86 for now. new alternate platform: POWER8; we are working on polishing so it will very soon end up as primary platform. Very exciting for us: get to work with IBM and ISVs, platform openness which matches our view on the world,, serious hardware for serious deployment. Working with AVNET: you will be able to order POWER8 machines with Kolab preinstalled.
  • 19:55 Hardware experimental: ARM, demoed at FOSDEM in January 2016, participation is more than welcome
  • 20:10: Operating System: Primary: RHEL, CentOS
  • 20:45 Operating System: Alternate: Debian, Ubuntu LTS; Docker+Kubernetes (as target platform). Aaron “expects one or more of these two to move from alternate up to primary in the not too distant future. Again, this is driven by demand and usage.”
  • 21:25: Experimental Operating Systems: Suse, ClearOS, Univention. We are working on bringing Kolab 16 with commercial support to Univention, currently there is Kolab 14 for it. Love to see these move up to the alternate tier.
  • 22:10 look at the spreadsheets, with time frames for release rhythm. yearly rhythm: We will have Kolab 17. time delay for secondary platforms. When commercial support is out for eg. Kolab 16.1, we will not support new installations for Kolab 14. 5 year long term support for existing installations with commercial support. You know the release schedule, you can plan your upgrades.
  • 26:00 New capabilities coming to Kolab. there is much more, internal plan with 70 slides. just presenting the highlights
  • 26:30 CloudSuite: Taking collaborative Editing up to the next level. Technology Preview in January was well received. Partnering with Collabora to bring LibreOffice on the server to Kolab. Very similar to Manticore. Shared editing sessions in your browser. POWER8: self hosting your own editing cloud demands more server resources.
  • 27:30 Kube and Roundcube. client applications to experience Kolab with all the features and all the integration. Currently that is Roundcube 1 for the web client and Kontact on the desktop. Those has served us very well, happy to work well with upstreams of both, we were major/primary funder and sponsor of these projects, we realized we need to move on and provide a better experience on both. We continue to maintain Roundcube 1. Session on Friday about Kube and Roundcube.Next.
  • Roundcube.Next: server side application => single page HTML 5 application, no reload, no refreshes, uses JMAP, takes IMAP and makes it friendly to the web.
  • Kube: strong focus on user experience. not every possible feature. clean and intelligent internal design. far more performant and robust. Kube is available as an installable nightly, docker, flatpak.
  • 31:25 instant messaging, Web RTC: not using eg. ejabberd or MongooseIM. slightly difficult to provide integration, we don’t want just an addon, but make it a core feature. Therefore: plan to use Phoenix framework. comes with chat built in. implement jabber API on top of it. so you can connect with your jabber client, but the server internally does not talk jabber. this allows far more integration and powerful features. moderately controversial decision, but others who are doing instant messaging have completely walked away from jabber altogether, and there are reasons from that. Talk to us!
  • 33:40 PACK an enhanced management tool. we are working to unify the kolab webadmin with the ISP focused hosted management stuff. hosting environment hooked in to billing. business side for hosting providers. for onsite installations. Giles is working on the UI side of these things all together, harmonious visual design and workflows across all products, for, Kube and PACK.
  • 35:10 Central Auth Service: Jeroen is working on proof of concept work. central authentication and authorization services for Kolab. one place of auth that is not welded to eg. LDAP, more flexibility. Gives options for third party authentication, eg. if you invite someone from another email provider to a shared editing session. they can authenticate themselves. multi factor authentication. Centralized in terms of API and entry point, still will also be clusterable and distributed.
  • 36:50 question from the audience: upgrade path from one version of Kolab to the next. Release rhythm. Example: Enterprise 14 => 16, Mads worked on the documentation for that. upgrade is extremly simple. see for larger installations, spread across a cluster, a little bit more work. still reasonable. designed for a smooth experience. we want to do that for all commercially supported versions. for paying customers: they can plan when they want to upgrade, can skip releases.

IBM Power 8 by Dr. Wolfgang Maier, IBM

Safe Harbour, Julian Höppner

Niche Markets, Hans de Raad

The Kolab Experience – The Exciting Future of Next Generation clients, Christian and Aaron

  • 0:00 Christian Mollekopf about Kube, with demo
  • 29:00: Aaron Seigo about

Partner Programme, Aaron Seigo & Peter Lemken
Partner Programme – Accelerating into the market together

  • goals: bringing freedom
  • we have raised awareness
  • we get more requests. Kolab is not a huge company.
  • using a partner programme: achieve these goals much faster
  • it is not just size. has reasonable prizes, but Euro centric. Getting support into your timezone, difficult for Kolab Systems.
  • who do we want to work with, what can you expect from us
  • POWER8: partners of IBM, using that ecosystem.
  • Kolab Taster events, in coordination with IBM and RedHat
  • 6:30 profiles of partners: We deliver Kolab in 3 ways: on-site, hosted for you, public cloud.
    SaaS Resellers. example: Secure Swiss data. just launched. white labeled version of Kolab. targetting North America and Europe. they don’t manage their own servers, they don’t do their own billing. we customize/white label Kolab for them. we share the revenue. They sell public cloud and hosted services.
  • 10:15: ASP/ISP: application service provider, internet service provider: we treat them the same. We help them to setup their own technical training, consulting. they can deliver a quality service to their clients. they pay per seat. no upfront huge cost. alternative to Office 365. ISP become a pipe for Microsoft or Google, nothing left for them. No differentation from other competitors. Example: AVECTRICS. ISP in Switzerland. Primarily service the energy sector in Europe, customers in Asia as well. They are a Microsoft Platin partner, no Linux infrastructure or expertise. Kolab Systems helped them. Hyper-V became the part with the highest cost within the solution. We gave them virtualisation with RedHat. They hired Linux experts, we showed them how they can do it. Running Exchange and Kolab in parallel, no disruptive migration. We give them even white labelled training material for the customers.
  • 18:10 Integrators: regional IT company, or international IT houses. they can add Kolab to their offer, beside VOIP etc. standardized revenue model with Kolab Systems.
  • Support system for Integrators, how do we help them.
  • 20:20 just recently opened an office in Austria due to demand and interest there. Peter is heading that up and is a partner manager for us as well.
  • local and regional aspect of integrators: institutional customers, need local integrator. need local support. Kolab headquartered in Switzerland cannot manage all the Kolab projects around the planet. we need local integrators, local supporters. push the product, get new customers.
  • 23:30 Partner Benefits: We are doing this at the moment in Austria, move this at a later stage on to other countries.
  • 23:30 Partner Benefits: Sales support and training. how to sell open source software. tell the local integrator what Kolab stands for. The integrator knows the cultural element how to sell it to the customers.
  • 26:25 Professionally designed marketing assets: Kolab taster events: Zürich, Bern, Vienna. with IBM and RedHat; local customers visit the Taster
  • 27:45 Technical support and training. Reseller needs to know what he is doing. first and second level support. Kolab Systems only provides source code level support. Certifications coming up.
  • 29:00 Exclusive monthly updates by newsletter. where are we moving. roadmap. comprehensive short updates.
  • 29:50 Partners-only web forum. As an open source company we are depending heavily and are addicted to the community. for development, support, and working on a roadmap. we want to do this on a partner level as well. Partners can interact among each other. regional aspects. Kolab Systems provides the platform. still on the roadmap.
  • 31:20 Online knowledgebase and tech library: available to partners only. partners come up with new cool ideas. make them availble to other partners.
  • 32:00 Co-marketing opportunities and partner events: expert at Kolab Systems for marketing
  • 32:30 Access to Kolab’s technology ecosystem
  • 33:05 Online purchasing and subscription management: partners can self-service themselves. work in progress.
  • work in progress, but we know where we want to go: worldwide ecosystem that spreads out the message about Kolab as a really cool thing in terms of open source, in replacing with existing technologies with a different business model, and in the end which is the most important thing, if you work with Kolab as a partner, you have the really big opportunity to make lots of money. Because we are individual, you can talk to us, we can design our business model around your requirement as a local partner for your customers, and really servicing big infrastructures.

Closing Talk, Georg Greve

Panel Discussion

  • 0:55 Hans de Raad: good to see Kolab Systems more in the open. Tasters, Kolab Summit. Will you cooperate even more with other open source platforms? where do you see that going? more collaboration?
  • 2:15 Georg: working more professionally on how we present ourselves and how we communicate. Great to have Giles as our creative director. The Corporate Design of Kolab is his work.
    Technical side: working with Libreoffice, and others as well. Aaron and Jeroen are responsible for that. Engaging with upstream, in collaboration. Upstream is the king. If our work is not going into the upstream, it is a liability.
    Kube: we worked hard with upstream. showing shortcomings we need to address. help understand why certain things has do be addressed. multiple meetings with the kdepim community. ultimately we said we are going to do this, please everyone who wants to join, join in. goal: entire community gets stronger. fragment, splitting, forking is not good. it maybe necessary when there is no alternative. goal: reduce fragmentation.
  • 6:45 Jeroen: we provide the glue between a lot of components. we maintain and write stuff in 7 languages. that is a lot of work. C, C++, python, erlang, PHP… We want to shift that. Phoenix and Elixir as a web development framework. We will provide prototypes, screencasts, weekly retrospectives, post them online, source code is available.
  • 8:45: Georg: check, you can see everything we work on. Sprint planning etc.
  • 9:30: someone asks if people with junior level can help the Kolab project when you only have a few skills.
  • Georg: we have use for people on every level. we need a lot more people at junior level. They turn to senior level. Hit the mailing lists, the IRC channel, approach us, we are generally pretty approachable. We are usually quite friendly, we do not bite.
  • 13:00 Georg: we are constantly on the lookout for people. send us your CV.
Videos from the Kolab Summit 2.0 with some minutes taken
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