Open Source Business Alliance

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Open Source Business Alliance - Bundesverband für digitale Souveränität e.V.
Logo OSB Alliance – Open Source Business Alliance e.V.png
FocusEstablish open source as the standard in public procurement and in research and business development. Support of digital sovereignty for citizens, companies and administration
  • Stuttgart and Berlin (Germany)

The Open Source Business Alliance - Bundesverband für digitale Souveränität e.V. is a German non-profit that operates Europe's biggest network of companies and organizations developing, building and using open source software.[1]


The alliance was founded in July 2011 in Stuttgart. The two founding associations, Linux Solutions Group e.V. (Lisog) and the LIVE Linux-Verband e.V., officially merged their groups at their annual general meetings on the 20th and 21 July 2011.[2][3]

The merger aimed to create a unified lobby group for the German open-source movement.[4]

In 2014, a further attempted consolidation failed. The OSB Alliance and the Open Source Business Foundation (OSBF) first announced their intention to merge the two associations to form a single large advocacy group on 18 November 2013. After almost a year of negotiations that only achieved an agreement, the merger collapsed on 15 October 2014.[5]

At their annual general meeting in Berlin in 2018, the association's name change to "Open Source Business Alliance - Federal Association for Digital Sovereignty" was proposed and received broad support from the members present. From the perspective of the association, open source software and open standards are necessary and essential prerequisites for digital sovereignty. The OSB Alliance has established itself as one of the mouthpieces and has been promoting and promoting the topic of "digital sovereignty" for several years. As a nationwide representative of the open source industry and users, the OSB Alliance has now expanded its name in order to make this objective more aware.[6]


General goals[edit]

The alliance's main aims are to:[7]

  • Promote Linux and open source-based solutions and their use in businesses and institutions, and to support the providers of open-source software and services
  • Help companies to develop an open source-based business strategy
  • Provide a communication platform to open source-focused IT providers and users, to encourage and promote improvements in open source
  • Develop continuous contact with politics and public administration bodies
  • Work to raise public awareness of open source

Central objectives of the alliance:[8]

  • The use of open standards with manufacturer-independent, fully published, unlimited specifications
  • The abolition of software patents, or alternatively, irrevocable free use of existing software patents
  • Inviolability of copyright
  • Action by public bodies to enable participation, i.e. open data, open innovation and open access
  • Open-minds economy through public forms of cooperation in politics and business
  • Net neutrality, i.e. equal treatment of all online data flows


The current board of Open Source Business Alliance e.V. consists of 16 members:[9]

  • Peter Ganten, Univention GmbH (Chairman)
  • Milisav Radmanic, SUSE Software Solutions Germany GmbH (Vice Chairman)
  • Diego Calvo de Nó, Proventa AG (Financial Director)
  • Rico Barth, c.a.p.e. IT GmbH
  • Lothar Becker, .riess applications GmbH
  • Hong Phuc Dang, OpnTec GmbH
  • Holger Dyroff, ownCloud GmbH
  • Frank Karlitschek, Nextcloud GmbH
  • Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar, Technische Universität München
  • Felix Kronlage-Dammers, gridscale GmbH
  • Prof. Dr. Jorge Marx Gómez, Universität Oldenburg
  • Anke Pawla, Kopano GmbH
  • Lisa Reisch, independIT Integrative Technologies GmbH
  • Alfred Schröder, Gonicus GmbH
  • Jens Ziemann, Red Hat
  • Dr. Karl-Heinz Strassemeyer, formerly IBM Germany (Honorary Chairman)

Working groups and projects[edit]

The OSB Alliance supports working groups that cover a wide range of issues. As of February 2021 the following working groups were in operation:[10]

WG Continuous License Compliance
would like to make companies that rely on the "innovation model - open source software" less vulnerable and thus more competitive. The group wants to contribute to efficiently taking into account the aspect of license compliance in medium-sized companies. The “Continuous License Compliance” working group aims to bring routine and continuity to the handling of open source licenses and to promote the automation of open source compliance in cooperation with the community. In addition, the exchange of experiences and best practices should be encouraged and promoted.
WG Education
works on the modern use of digital and interactive teaching and learning material in schools and digital education platforms based on open technologies and standards. In November 2013, the group presented a 30-page document entitled “Digital media, educational platforms and IT infrastructure in schools based on open systems and standards”.[11][12] The goal is to create an open “education cloud” that is centrally provided but configured locally.
WG Events
decides which events the association attends and arranges its participation. Since 2012, the Working Group Events has organised the OSB Alliance’s Open Source Day,[13] held every autumn. Another of its main focuses is coordinating the appearance of the OSB Alliance at CeBIT,[14] as well as at other events with relevant topics, such as the OPEN-IT SUMMIT [15][16][17] or OPEN!2015.
WG Public Affairs
formulates the positions of the OSB Alliance related to politics and public administration.[18][19][20] The group maintains direct and regular contact with politicians, acts as a point of contact for all questions from the public sector and cooperates in European fora. In November 2013, the working group published a brochure on PRISM and its consequences, with tips for countermeasures.[21][22] Most recently on 21 October 2014, the group held an open IT conference with councillors of the Green Party.[23][24]

Sovereign Cloud Stack (SCS)[edit]

In November 2019, Rafael Laguna de la Vera (founding director SPRIND), Peter Ganten (CEO Univention and chairman of the OSB Alliance), Oliver Mauss (CEO PlusServer) and Kurt Garloff came up with the idea of proposing a manufacturer-independent, free, federatable cloud stack for Gaia-X and develop. The idea was given the name Sovereign Cloud Stack [25](short: SCS) and fell on fertile ground at BMWi and Gaia-X.[26] SCS was integrated as a sub-working group in Gaia-X and further developed by a small team made up of Christian Berendt (CEO OSISM), Dirk Loßack and Kurt Garloff and a growing community. A feasibility study was also carried out on behalf of SPRIND and a funding application for the BMWi was drawn up for the OSB Alliance. On Jul 13, 2021, the OSB Alliance announced that it receives 14.9M€ funding to coordinate and fund the development of the software and the ecosystem.[27] SCS is affiliated to the Gaia-X Provider Working Group as an (Open) Work Package.[28] SCS uses available open source technologies such as Ceph, Prometheus, OpenStack and Kubernetes and performs the automation, configuration, integration and validation of the components in a standardized and certifiable stack. In addition to the software stack, the project focuses in particular on tools for business automation and the documentation of business processes.[29] With Betacloud [30] and PlusCloud Open [31][32] the first productive SCS-based public clouds are already available (as of July 2021); further public clouds and implementations as private clouds in industry and public administration [33] are already in progress.


  1. ^ About the OSB Alliance
  2. ^ Computerwoche: The raise of the OSB Alliance
  3. ^ Linux-Magazin: LiSOG and Live merged
  4. ^ Pro-Linux: LiSoG and Live merged
  5. ^ No merge between OSB Alliance and OSBF
  6. ^ OSB alliance is renaming itself
  7. ^ OSB Alliance: About us
  8. ^ OSB Alliance: The guidelines of the OSB Alliance
  9. ^ Board OSB Alliance
  10. ^ Working groups OSB Alliance
  11. ^ Working Group Education Whitepaper "Digital Media, Educational Platforms and IT infrastructure in schools based on open systems and standards"
  12. ^ Pro-Linux: About the whitepaper of the Working Group Education/OSB Alliance
  13. ^ Linux Magazin: Open Source Day 2012
  14. ^ Linux Magazin: OSB Alliance@CeBIT 2014
  15. ^ Linux Magazin: OPEN-IT SUMMIT
  16. ^ Official Webpage OPEN-IT SUMMIT
  17. ^ Heise about the OPEN-IT SUMMIT
  18. ^ Report Linux-Magazin about the letter to the city of Freiburg (1)
  19. ^ Report Linux-Magazin about the letter to the city of Freiburg (2)
  20. ^ Report Linux-MAgazin: Statement to the coalition agreement
  21. ^ OSB Alliance about PRISM
  22. ^ Report Linux-Magazin: About Prism
  23. ^ Open Source Policy for the public sector
  24. ^ Report Linux Magazin: Open IT Summit in Hamburg
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Press release: OSB Alliance develops Sovereign Cloud Stack (SCS) for the Gaia-X project". 2021-07-13. Retrieved 2021-08-11.
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^

External links[edit]