IBM has reached back to us after a ling hiatus. A few years ago IBM and Oracle gave UNDP 300,000 USD to support work on open standards and interoperability. There is still close to 40k which remains unspent, sitting in a financial limbo somewhere in UNDP. To access these funds we will need a signed agreement of letter of intent between IBM and UNDP. But I am running ahead of myself here.
As many other large corporations IBM is promoting the use of cloud services. But unlike others, IBM has maintained keen interest in supporting open standards and is thus promoting policies and programmes that lead to the creation and use of open cloud services -see for example http://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/us/en/open-standards.html.
IBM is suggesting we jointly organize a global meeting with 15 to 20 countries who are already working on open cloud or are planning to do so in the near future. IBM also suggested that the meeting should take place in D.C to secure the participation of representatives from the Obama Administration and academic experts. Costs and visas might be an issue but IBM responded by saying that the company will provide the hosting and finance as many meals as possible to reduce DSA costs. The meeting could take place in September of thereabouts.
The meeting will have to clear outputs: 1) To created a community of practice on open cloud; and 2) To finalize a UNDP guidance note on open cloud with clear policy recommendations and links to development agendas.
In the end we agreed to:
- Draft a concept note for the meeting (IBM)
- Explore further the issues of costs and location (both)
- Come up with criteria for country selection (IBM)
- Involved media people from both partners early on (an IBM media rep was at the call!)
We also need on our side to additional research on open cloud.