The Kolab Summit report – Putting the freedom back in the cloud

The Kolab 2016 summit, held in Nürnberg on the 24th and 25th of June, has been our most exciting event to date. If you missed it, here's what happened...

Welcome, distributing Kolab and the road ahead

During the opening talk Georg Greve, Kolab System's CEO, kicked off the event by introducing the schedule for the weekend. He then went on to describe how Kolab will still deliver confidence in collaboration, even in the face of the threats to privacy and data security in today's world.

Georg Greve on stage

Then Aaron Seigo, CTO at Kolab Systems and long-time hacker and Free Software evangelist, took the stage and told us about the changes to the Kolab's release cycle and how they have managed to improve both the community's and our own customers' experience. He also talked about the exciting new features we can look forward to in the upcoming versions of Kolab. (Aaron's talk starts at 8:40).

The Power of Power 8

Next up was Dr. Wolfgang Maier, Director of Hardware Development at IBM, who gave us an overview of IBM's Power line of servers, and how it is the best hardware solution for the Kolab platform thanks to its performance enhancements and its open architecture.

Dr. Wolfgang Maier on stage

Safe Harbour and Privacy Shield

Julian Höppner, a lawyer specialised in copyright and intellectual property at the JBB law firm, sailed us through the treacherous waters of Safe Harbour and poked holes in the upcoming Privacy Shield. Julian made clear that the treaties being negotiated with the US will most likely be ineffective against government snooping and corporate espionage.

Julian Höppner on stage

Must see if you are considering hosting your data with a company with American ties (SPOILER: You probably shouldn't).

Niche Markets

The business side of things was covered by Hans de Raad, an independent ICT specialist, founder of OpenNovations, and a long-time Kolab partner and friend.

Hans de Raad on stage

Hans explained how it is possible to grow a business around Open Source software despite the naysayers, how to find your niche market, and the intricacies of public procurements.

Kolab's next Desktop Client: Kube

Christian Mollekopf, one of Kolab System's most brilliant developers, showed off the latest breakthroughs included into Kube, Kolab's next desktop client, and the cross-platform sucessor to Kontact/Kmail. Eye-candy was to be had by all.

Christian Mollekopf and Aaron Seigo on stage

Then Aaron came up on stage (again!) to introduce the features already available in the new version of Kolab's star web client: Roundcube Next (starts at 28:25).

The Kolab Partner Programme

Aaron stayed on to explain the different types of partners we work with, and how resellers, ISPs and integrators were using Kolab to offer more and better services to their clients, while cutting costs and boosting business at the same time.

Aaron Seigo and Peter Lemken on stage

Peter Lemken, Account and Partner manager at Kolab Systems Austria, then went into much more detail as to how Kolab Systems helps and supports partnerships with integrators (starts at 20:00).

Last words

Georg returned to the stage at the end of the day and talked about the legal and technical shenanigans that threaten our data privacy and security. He also explained how these threats had led Kolab to adopt the Power architecture as its recommended hardware platform, and how becoming a member of the OpenPOWER Foundation guarantees Kolab can run an open stack from the hardware up.

And the Kolab 2016 summit was just the beginning! We have many more exciting things happening over the next 12 months and we can't wait to share them with you soon.