LibreOffice Certification Program

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IMPORTANTE
ISTO É O RASCUNHO 0.0.1 DO PROGRAMA DE CERTIFICAÇÃO DO LIBREOFFICE, EDITADO POR ITALO VIGNOLI
É UM RASCUNHO PARA DISCUSSÃO, E NÃO PODE SER CONSIDERADO OFICIAL ATÉ QUE ATINJA A VERSÃO 1.0
QUALQUER MENÇÃO OU LINK DEVE DEIXAR CLARO QUE SE TRATA DE UM RASCUNHO PARA DISCUSSÃO
The Document Foundation
Programa de Certificação do LibreOffice

Prefácio
A Certificação é uma ferramenta tradicional utilizada pelos fornecedores de hardware e software proprietários porque permite conquistar, ampliar, controlar e fidelizar parceiros de negócios. Um programa de certificação típico é dividido em níveis (tradicionalmente na escala bronze, prata, ouro e platina) e configura diferentes condições para os parceiros, de acordo com o nível (através do pagamento de uma taxa anual e tendo uma ou várias pessoas treinadas no produto). Em contrapartida, o parceiro ganha um selo de "certificação", e tem algumas vantagens como linha de atendimento de suporte dedicada e várias versões de demonstração). O parceiro é "certificado" para vender e oferecer suporte ao produto, e oferecer serviços de valor agregado. Tomando como exemplo a certificação do Microsoft Office, os parceiros são certificados para desenvolver modelos (empresariais), macros e extensões para integração com outras soluções corporativas (typicamente, SAP e Oracle [sic], e soluções administrativas, que podem ser diferentes de país para país). De acordo com o IDC, o ecossistema de parcerias possui um valor oito vezes maior do que o volume de negócios com licenças (Penso que essa estimativa é exagerada para incentivar os parceiros, mas mesmo um décimo desse volume ficaria na casa de bilhões de dólares).


Dados de analistas
Um estudo conduzido pelo IDC verificou o desempenho organizacional de 5.540 equipes de TI, examinando a relação entre o desempenho da equipe e a porcentagem daquela equipe certificada em uma variedade de tecnologias. O estudo concluiu que a certificação correlacionou-se positivamente para a melhoria do desempenho organizacional. Nas áreas de excelência em serviços gerais e medidas específicas de desempenho em nível de tarefas, a certificação teve um impacto mensurável: 75% por cento dos gerentes acreditam que a certificação é importante para o desempenho da equipe, e 66% dos gerentes acreditam que a certificação melhora o nível de serviço e apoio oferecido aos usuários/clientes finais de TI.

Em uma pesquisa de satisfação do cliente conduzido em 2006 pela Microsoft, 63% dos gerentes de contratação sentiu que os profissionais certificados foram mais produtivos que seus colegas não certificados. A pesquisa de 2007 informou que 38% dos profissionais ​​MS Certified pesquisados  (32% acima do ano anterior) sentiram que sua capacidade de ser mais produtivo no trabalho foi diretamente atribuída à certificação. E para profissionais de TI, os treinamentos e certificações da Microsoft ficaram classificados em segundo lugar em satisfação (depois de eLearning).


Justificativas para a Certificação A certificação não é um pedaço de papel, uma abreviatura ao lado do nome, ou um logotipo adicionado ao cartão de visita. Profissionais certificados estendem o alcance da comunidade para o mundo corporativo e oferecem aos CIOs e gerentes de TI um reconhecimento profissional de acordo com as ofertas proprietárias (a fim de dar-lhes uma escolha comparável, não se limitando ao software, mas incluindo serviços de valor agregado). A certificação é um canal valioso para compromissos mais profundos, que levam à satisfação do cliente. Através de comunicação direta com os indivíduos na comunidade, os usuários corporativos podem oferecer sugestões para melhorar o programa, comunicar novas idéias para a TDF e trabalhar juntos para aumentar a satisfação da estrutura e conteúdo da certificação LibreOffice. Certification helps in dealing with one of the intrinsic weaknesses of free software, i.e. the perception that it is better suited for early adopters and the bleeding edge over the early and the late majority. The Document Foundation acknowledges this weakness and tackles it providing a specific version of the software better suited to main street users, and growing an ecosystem capable of serving the needs of more conservative users. The challenge, then, is to build a project, a product and an ecosystem (the components of the "whole" product, according to the brilliant theory of Geoffrey Moore, in order to cross the chasm (a drastic lull in market development that occurs after the visionary market is saturated and pragmatists will not buy into a discontinuous technology unless they can reference other pragmatists, which are highly support oriented).


The Ecosystem
TDF provides LibreOffice Certification and promotes the ecosystem through his channels and with an aggressive marketing campaign targeted to corporate users, in order to increase LibreOffice adoption based on certified professional value added services for migration, integration, development, support and training. LibreOffice Certification is fee based, and fee might vary according to the value provided by the partner to The Document Foundation. Certified partners sell professional value added services to their customers and promote them to their prospects, develop and promote specific value added services for vertical markets, bundle LibreOffice with personal computers, and grow customer relations together with The Document Foundation. Certified partners are requested to stick to the certification requirements, and provide a quarterly report about challenges and opportunities related to LibreOffice Certification. End users benefit from certified professional value added services, and by supporting indirectly the growth of The Document Foundation and LibreOffice become special community members (with direct email access to the marketing team)
LibreOffice Certification
Certification is a key milestone for building the LibreOffice ecosystem, and increase the number of organizations capable of adding value around LibreOffice (and, hopefully, help to spread the adoption over proprietary and open source office suites). Certification is also going to be a revenue opportunity for The Document Foundation, at least in the medium to long term. Of course, we must find a suitable certification business model, as we cannot leverage discounts over list prices (for instance), but I think that we have the resources for creating our own certification program, and to make it interesting for the market. Before starting to outline the program, I would make it clear that the certification is not supposed to become a source of competition for TDF sponsors like RedHat and SUSE, and for individuals - like some of the founders and the early members - and companies who provide VAS (value added services) to the market. On the contrary, they will be providing certification services to the ecosystem on behalf of TDF, and will also get a distinctive certification badge. The main focus of the certification program is the corporate environment, although we might also have an end user training program as a by-product of the corporate training (in my opinion, though, end users will ask for a basic training program, and possibly for an end user certification like ECDL, which might become a secondary source of income, based on trainings for the trainers).

Certification.jpg


Program Description
Certification will be attributed to individuals. Organizations will earn a certified status if they employ or contract at least 3 certified individuals, each one with a different specialization. Organization employing or contracting at least one individual for each specialization will earn the highest status: Migration Competence Center. Individual certifications will be the following:
*Migration Professional: will be able to coordinate the migration process from MS Office to LibreOffice, working with the customer to manage the change in all aspects (integration, development of macros and templates), training and support) in order to have a smooth transition.
*Integration Professional: will be able to integrate LibreOffice within the enterprise infrastructure of a company, developing the appropriate plug ins or extensions.
*Development Professional: will be able to develop macros and/or templates reproducing those developed for MS Office, in order to offer to end users of the suite the same functionalities they were used to.
*Professional Trainer: will be able to teach the use of LibreOffice at basic, intermediate and advanced level.
*Support Professional: will be able to provide first level and second level support. TDF will manage the Certification Program, under the supervision of the BoD and the responsibility of an Officer. TDF will define the certification process with the help of the Advisory Board, from the requirements to apply for certification to the training programs for each certification and the accreditation process to achieve certification. TDF will charge a yearly certification fee to make the process self sustaining. TDF will appoint trainers amongst sponsors and members, picking the individuals more suited for each certification. The first tasks of these individuals will be to define the specific contents of each certification, and the training program to achieve certification. Trainers will be paid for their work.
Program Deployment
Recruiting partners is the first step, and quickly engaging, enabling and supporting them is the critical next step, in order to avoid that the partners become just another name on a list and do not generate the revenue and business results to grow the ecosystem. Potential partners should be quickly engaged with a "welcome package" with all the necessary information about TDF certification program, and those confirming their interest after having gone through this welcome package should be "walked through" the entire program either face to face or during a videoconference, and shown the relevant opportunities coming from the different certifications. Partners will be enabled with a number of training courses, according to the certifications they are applying for. Training courses will be in English, and will be provided through a videoconferencing system that will allow participants to attend using a standard PC (Windows, MacOS X or Linux), sharing presentations and other documents. Examinations will be in English, and will use the same system. Once the partners have been indoctrinated, trained and certified, they will have access to TDF marketing resources to promote their activity at local level. TDF will provide live on-demand chat support, email support and one-on-one live support with subject matter experts. Partners will have full access and will be guided through all marketing collaterals, competitive data, customer presentations, proposal templates and other materials developed by TDF.

DRAFT 0.0.1 (edited by Italo Vignoli)