On Monday, Orbitz Worldwide plans to announce the creation and release of two open-source projects, Extremely Reusable Monitoring API (ERMA) and Graphite. Though there were hints of these projects at JavaOne earlier this year, Monday's announcement will add significant context to the work Orbitz has done to create two highly compelling open-source projects, whose applicability extends far beyond the travel industry.
On Friday, Orbitz gave me a preview of the announcement and the opportunity to talk with its sponsors, Winthrop Short, senior director of Orbitz Worldwide, and Matt O'Keefe, senior architect of Orbitz Worldwide. In talking with Winthrop and Matt, it's clear to me that Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst's vision for enterprise collaboration through open-source communities is going to be led by companies like Orbitz, companies for whom technology is not necessary drudgery but rather competitive advantage.
Consider the following: Orbitz employs 1,600 full-time employees and has another 500 contractors. So, 2,100 people total. Half of this total number is made up of technologists. As Brian Hoyt, Orbitz Worldwide's vice president of corporate communications and government affairs told me, "We have always been a technology company, one that just happens to be really good at selling travel."
But why open source? What benefits does Orbitz derive from open-sourcing these projects? Why not keep ERMA and Graphite to themselves?… Read more