CalConnect welcomes Software AG as a member of The Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium. Software AG, headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, is a worldwide provider of ERM, Business Process Management, and related software and services.
Earlier this week, we announced new membership categories and interoperability test event fees. We have been discussing and shaping these changes, the first since CalConnect was established in 2005, for the past 6 months. We want to share with our members and non-members alike what motivated these changes, and what we hope they will accomplish.
CalConnect has two sources of revenue – membership fees, and fees associated with CalConnect events. This revenue underwrites the technical work of CalConnect, as well as our Roundtable Technical Conferences (member meetings) and Interoperability Test events.
Here is how we see the revenue side:
- CalConnect needs a sufficient revenue stream so that it can expand its reach, its programs, its services to promote interoperable and open calendaring, rather than having to focus our energy and efforts on cutting expenses when our revenues decrease.
- We need to recognize the value we provide through CalConnect, with membership fees which reflect that value.
- Our membership classifications and fees need to be coherent and “fair”.
- CalConnect has not changed its membership fees since they were established in 2005. Using one of the accepted measures of inflation, $10,000 in 2005 is the equivalent of ~$11,800 in 2012.
Although increased revenue is a goal of CalConnect and most other organizations, non-profit as well as for-profit, there is more to this story than revenue.
Because European companies have been members of CalConnect since its inception, in 2007 we decided to bring CalConnect to Europe. As we later noted, “… as standards and interoperability are central to CalConnect’s mission, and are strong core values of European Information Technology, we have long recognized the importance of increasing European involvement in CalConnect”. We traveled in Europe again in 2008 to meet with members and potential members. In 2011, we held our first member meeting in Europe, CalConnect XXII, hosted by Kerio Technologies in Prague, Czech Republic.
Last October, CalConnect XXV was hosted in Z¨rich, Switzerland by Google. Just prior to returning home from Z¨rich, some of us got together over dinner to reflect on the meetings. We were all impressed by some of the non-members, smaller, newer vendors, by and large, who attended as first time observers and/or Interoperability Test Event participants. We all agreed that these “emergent” vendors brought an enthusiasm, and a different perspective which really informed and energized the meetings. Many of these vendors told us they shared our enthusiasm for their participation, but that the current membership fee structure made it difficult to consider CalConnect membership, a story we heard again at the next Roundtable, CalConnect XXVI, hosted by Oracle in Santa Clara, California.
Enfranchising emergent vendors was one of the topics we discussed at the Board’s strategic planning meeting, convened at the University of California, Berkeley, to develop the ideas we had brainstormed in Z¨rich. We continued these discussions within the Board, and early this year brought the issue to the CalConnect Steering Committee, composed of member representatives, which oversees the technical direction of the Consortium. The Steering Committee provided very useful guidance and feedback, especially concerning the fees for our Interoperability events, which was incorporated into the resolutions just approved by the CalConnect Board.
Here is what we hope to accomplish with our new membership and interoperability event fees:
- Increase diversity, geographic distribution, age, gender, and company size of our membership. This is essential to CalConnect and its mission.
- Enfranchise emergent vendors, to give them an appropriate voice while they develop their products and markets.
- Make it easier for emergent vendors to join CalConnect, albeit limited to a single participant. We provide a three year, graduated migration path to full CalConnect membership, with unlimited participation.
- Make it more attractive for non-member vendors to participate in interoperability test events. Even if these non-members choose not to become members, the test events are energized, and become more robust, through their participation.
All this amounts to increasing our engagement with the wider world of calendaring & scheduling, so we can better meet our goal of improving all aspects of calendaring and scheduling, in particular interoperability. Although we may very well choose to take a more comprehensive look at membership structure in the future, we are very pleased to be able to announce these exciting changes now.
On behalf of the CalConnect Board of Directors,
CALCONNECT ANNOUNCES NEW MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES AND INTEROPERABILITY TEST EVENT FEES
Membership Categories and Fees
In response to suggestions from interested potential members, CalConnect has established two new membership categories. The first is a new small commercial vendor membership for vendors with revenues in the $0-$5M range. This membership is equivalent to existing commercial vendor memberships but applicable for vendors who have not yet reached $5M in annual revenue. The second new category is an Emergent Vendor membership, intended for small, new endeavors. This membership has an initial membership fee for the first year of only $1,000. The fee rises over the next two years; at the end of three years, the Emergent Vendor member becomes a regular Commercial Vendor member in the appropriate fee class based on its revenues at that point. Only one member representative may be appointed by an Emergent Vendor member in the course of a membership year. The Emergent Vendor membership is also offered a reduced Interoperability Test Event fee as discussed below. See Membership Fees for more information and a table of fees.
Interoperability Test Event Fees
Several changes have been made to the Interoperability Test Event fee structure. The regular commercial vendor member fee has been changed from $1795 to $1800 (to make the numbers more rational). Additional participants have been changed from $150 to $200 to ensure CalConnect doesn’t actually lose money for each one (additional participants for the host are also $200).
Non-vendor member participation fees remain unchanged at $350 per person.
Non-member participation fees have been reduced to $1800 for one participant and $600 for each additional participant.
The new Emergent Vendor Member participation fee is $800 for one person.
See Interoperability Test Event Fees for more information and a table of member categories and related fees.
REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR CALCONNECT XXVII, JUNE 3-7, 2013, HOSTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN IN MADISON, WISCONSIN
REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR CALCONNECT XXVII, JUNE 3-7, 2013, HOSTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN IN MADISON, WISCONSIN
As usual, Monday and Tuesday all day and Wednesday morning will be the Interoperability Test Event; Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday will be the CalConnect Roundtable Technical Conference.
Logistics information for this event may be found at http://www.calconnect.org/calconnect27.shtml including travel, preliminary hotel, and other planning information. The session schedule is available; the topical agendas will be posted closer to the event. The meeting venue will be the Union South Building, 1308 West Dayton Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706. The actual room(s) will be announced shortly before the event. The Conference Hotel is the Doubletree Madison hotel, 525 West Johnson Street, Madison, approximately eight blocks from the Union South building. Our rate is $149/night inclusive of internet, plus tax; the special rate ends on May 13 – after that rooms may be available but the rate is no longer guaranteed.
I encourage you to register early as early registration helps us with event planning and logistics, in addition to restaurant reservations. (Please remember that you need not pay when you register; if desired you may wait until the event and pay by credit card.
About the Roundtable:
The schedule for TC Sessions is set although there may be minor changes if needed. Early registration for the Roundtable will be $350 through 17 May 2013, and $395 thereafter. Another reason to register early: you won’t forget and miss the early registration deadline. Please note that the early registration about applies so long as you register <= 17 May, even if you don't actually pay until the event.
About the Interoperability Test Event:
The information page for the Interoperability Test event is at http://www.calconnect.org/iop1306.shtml. Please see this page for the current list of areas we plan to test; it will be updated regularly as testing registrations and requests are received. In addition, participants may have other areas they wish to test and we will be happy to include them in our planning; the test event registration form provides a place to indicate what you want to test. n all cases at least two participating organizations must be interested in testing a particular area or scenario to form testing pairs.
Please note that Interoperability Test Event Fees have changed slightly — see Interoperability Test Event Fees.
A petition has been initiated on the White House petition site to eliminate the twice-yearly time shift caused by Daylight Savings Time, either by eliminating it completely or imposing it all year.
CalConnect has no stance either for or against the suggestion itself. However, we strongly advise that any decision to change the current DST rules be made long in advance to allow enough time for the necessary changes to software and computer systems which accommodate DST.
In 2005, Congress decided to change the start and end dates of Daylight Savings Time to provide three more weeks of DST in March, and one more week at the end of the year; so called “Extended Daylight Savings Time”. This was signed into law as the Energy Policy Act of 2005. CalConnect submitted an Advisory document shortly before the EDST legislation was signed, recommending as much time as possible because the scope of the change was so broad and affected so much. In that document we noted:
Anything that keeps a calendar, including cell phones, is potentially affected. Many embedded environmental systems such as building management systems, time-lock control, work-shift and time clocks, may also be affected. It is also not clear whether other countries that currently share the
same timezone and DST definitions as the US will adopt the new definitions at the same time, or stay with the current ones. This has serious impact for cross-border commerce as for two months in the year, regions of the US will have a local time one hour different than similar regions in other countries.
The law allowed 18 months before the new rules went into effect in March of 2007. During that time, CalConnect published a Review and Considerations document and followed it with a set of Links, Advisories and Changes, noting:
This document is a compilation of links to vendor-provided advisories, technical notes, change documents, and the like. Its primary purpose is to try and consolidate in one place links to references for Calendaring and Scheduling systems and major underlying operating systems, but links for related products and services will be provided when possible.
In the event, the actual change in 2007 caused considerable disruption, much of it in the Calendaring and Scheduling area due to necessary fixes and patches either not being distributed in time, or not being applied to the C&S systems.
A change to the DST rules today would have a far broader effect than five years ago, and of course far broader than calendaring and scheduling. The effect on areas as diverse as financial, travel, logistics and shipping, and in particular embedded systems, is likely to be extremely disruptive, and would spread even to the level of “intelligent” thermostats in the home. The impact can only be mitigated by serious and early attention on the part of the builders and vendors of any software, firmware and devices which accommodate DST, and a similar diligence on the part of the customers owning the software and devices.
Within CalConnect, after EDST went into effect we realized that much of the impact of the change was due to actual timezone definition data being resident in systems. In EDST Reflections and Recommendations, published in April of 2007, we offered some recommendations. Much of our subsequent focus in the area of timezones has been towards a Timezone Service protocol, which would allow systems and devices connected to the internet, calendaring and others, to obtain timezone information when needed rather than having it embedded in the systems themselves, and thus would not have to be modified to accommodate changes in DST definitions. Whether such a protocol can be in widespread use in time for any future DST change is questionable, but ultimately the adoption of such a mechansim will go a long way towards shielding users from the effects of DST transition changes.
Reports on the recent CalConnect XXVI Roundtable and Interoperability Test Event, hosted by Oracle in Santa Clara, California, January 28-February 1, 2013, have been published on the CalConnect website.
CalConnect XXVII will be June 3-7, 2013, hosted by the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.
CalConnect has established the CALSCALE Ad Hoc Committee to determine changes and extensions necessary to iCalendar to allow recurrences to accommodate non-Gregorian calendar rules, and will develop a draft specification to be submitted to the IETF for broader discussion within the entire IETF community. The Ad Hoc is intended to complete its work and report out at the CalConnect meeting in June 2013.
CalConnect offers two general public discussion lists for calendaring and scheduling, one primarily for calendaring system developers and one for system administrators of calendaring and scheduling systems. Each list has a home page on the CalConnect website with information about the purpose of the list, charter and rules of use, and a link to subscribe, maintain, and unsubscribe. Each list has well over 100 subscribers.
CalConnect public discussion lists are moderated, and new subscription requests must be approved to be activated. Only subscribers may post to lists, or receive postings from the list. The list archives are publicly available.
CalConnect has implemented this public discussion list (firstname.lastname@example.org) for discussion of calendaring and scheduling developers’ issues and questions. The Charter and Rules of Use for this list are given on the list’s web page at the link above. We invite all calendar developers and other interested parties to subscribe to this list and make use of it.
The primary audience and expected participants are calendaring and scheduling system developers, and others working on calendaring-related and scheduling-related projects. However, the list is open to any and all participants that agree to and adhere to the rules of use.
The Calendaring and Scheduling Admin Mailing List (email@example.com) exists to foster discussion about all aspects of calendaring and scheduling system administration and management. This includes, but is not limited to, C&S platforms and applications, emerging C&S standards, message flows, access control, unsolicited or bulk agenda invitations (SPCAL), account management, virus vectors, disaster recovery, and interactions with closely related collaborative technologies.
The primary audience and expected participants are calendaring and scheduling system administrators. However, the list is open to any and all participants that agree to and adhere to the rules of use.