Certificación de LibreOffice
Para ver una lista de profesionales certificados, visite esta página.
La certificación ha sido tradicionalmente asociada a los vendedores de software privativo, aunque el sistema ha estado en vigor en los vendedores de Software Libre y de Código Abierto tales como MySQL, RedHat y SUSE por varios años. La certificación fortalece la relación con los socios, al tiempo que garantiza una calidad de servicio suficiente para evitar problemas a los usuarios finales. Hay dos aspectos distintos a la certificación. Uno de ellos es para certificar organizaciones que están asociados o franquiciados reconocidos y el segundo es para certificar la competencia en las habilidades específicas del sector. Un programa de certificación típico se divide en niveles (la mayoría utiliza la escala de bronce, plata, oro y platino) y establece diferentes condiciones para los socios, en función de su nivel (pago de una cuota anual, y tener una o varias personas capacitadas en el producto). A cambio, el socio recibe un sello "certificado", y tiene algunas ventajas, como una línea telefónica dedicada para el apoyo y varios productos de demostración. El socio está "certificado" para la venta y soporte del producto, y para proporcionar un valor añadido.
Justificación de la Certificación
La certificación, cuando se maneja adecuadamente, no es otro pedazo de papel, o una abreviatura junto al nombre o un logotipo añadido a la tarjeta de visita. De acuerdo con la visión de TDF, los profesionales certificados tienen el objetivo de ampliar el alcance de la comunidad para el mundo empresarial, y ofrecer a los CIOs y responsables de TI un reconocimiento profesional en línea con ofertas privativas (con el fin de darles una opción comparable, no se limita a servicios) de software, pero incluyendo el valor añadido.
La certificación debe ser un valioso canal para los compromisos más profundos, que conducen a mejorar la satisfacción del cliente. A través de la comunicación directa con las personas en la comunidad, los usuarios corporativos pueden ofrecer sugerencias para mejorar el programa, comunicar nuevas ideas a TDF, y trabajar juntos para aumentar la satisfacción de la estructura y contenido de la certificación de LibreOffice.
La certificación ayuda en el tratamiento de dos de las debilidades intrínsecas de Software Libre:
1. La percepción de que el Software Libre es más adecuado para los usuarios innovadores y avanzados sobre las mayorías temprana y tardía.
2. La incapacidad para generar ingresos que se mantendrán a través de licencias de software, sobre todo en el escritorio.
TDF reconoce estas debilidades y las evita al proporcionar una versión específica del software más adecuado para los principales usuarios, y el creciente ecosistema capaz de servir a las necesidades de los usuarios más conservadores y la generar ingresos para el desarrollo.
El desafío, entonces, es la construcción de un proyecto, un producto y un ecosistema (los componentes del producto como un "todo", de acuerdo con la brillante teoría de Geoffrey Moore, con el fin de cruzar el abismo (un período de calma drástico en el desarrollo del mercado que se produce después de que el mercado visionario está saturado y los pragmatistas no van a confiar en una tecnología discontinua menos que pueden hacer referencia a otros pragmatistas, que son altamente orientados al soporte)).
TDF will promote the ecosystem through it´s channels and with an aggressive marketing campaign targeted to corporate users, in order to increase LibreOffice adoption based on value added services provided by certified professionals for migration, integration, development, support and training. TDF members actively involved in one of these areas will be certified for free, provided that they can demonstrate that their skills comply with the standards. Otherwise, LibreOffice Certification will be fee based, and the fee might vary according to the value provided by the partner to the project.
Certified partners will sell 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 TDF. Certified partners will be requested to stick to the certification requirements, and provide a report about challenges and opportunities related to LibreOffice Certification.
End users will benefit from value added services provided by certified professionals, and will indirectly support the growth of TDF and LibreOffice.
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 an additional opportunity for The Document Foundation, at least in the medium to long term, in order to sustain the growth of the ecosystem.
TDF certification model will be different from that of proprietary software companies, as TDF - for instance - cannot leverage discounts over list prices (one of the typical advantages of certified partners). Developing a new certification model is both a challenge and an opportunity, for TDF and for its partners.
TDF (informal) ecosystem already includes the resources for creating this new model of certification program, and to make it interesting for the market (i.e. individuals and companies which are not yet thinking about becoming TDF partners, but have the potential to do so). In any case, TDF certification will not be related to the sheer dimension of the business, although companies able to generate a larger business should also contribute more to the project.
Before starting to outline the certification program, it should be absolutely clear that it is not supposed to become a source of competition for TDF corporate sponsors (today: Canonical, RedHat and SUSE), for TDF partners like Lanedo, and for TDF members who provide VAS (value added services) to the market. On the contrary, it provides a method of regulating the quality of the services provided by these entities and a method of recognising that certain services conform to clear and transparent regulatory criteria. This will help build and sustain the ecosystem.
The main focus of the certification program is the corporate environment, although TDF - in the future - might also create an end user training program as a by-product of the corporate training (although most end users will ask for a basic training program, and possibly for a certification like ECDL, which might become a secondary source of income, based on trainings for the trainers). Although there might be a large request for end user certification, this is not as important as professional certification as it is not going to help building the ecosystem.
The Certification Program will be overseen by TDF Board of Directors through a Certification Committee, which will be purely functional and will be reporting to the BoD on a quarterly basis. The members of the Certification Committee will be approved by the BoD.
TDF Certifications will recognize the individual competence but will neither bind The Document Foundation to the actions of the certified individuals, nor will hold it liable for their actions. The quality of service is the sole responsibility of the certified individuals.
For a definition of the certification categories, see the "Individual Certifications" section below.
The certification path will be shorter and easier for TDF members, and will be exclusive to TDF members in the area of development. In order to become a Certified LibreOffice Developer it will be mandatory not only to be capable of hacking LibreOffice code but also to actively hacking and committing code for at least three months before being recognized as a certified developer, and for the entire length of the certified status. The Certified LibreOffice Developer status will cease three months after the last commit, unless otherwise granted by the Engineering Steering Committee.
TDF members will be also the first to be certified, according to the criteria set by the Certification Committee for migration, support and training.
Certification criteria will be defined by the Certification Committee, with the help of TDF partner companies and TDF members, together with the requirements to apply for certification, the training programs for each certification and the accreditation process. The Engineering Steering Committee and the Advisory Board members will also be instrumental for the creation and the evolution of the certification program.
Certification will be attributed to individuals who have demonstrated their skills by participating to the community, or who have followed a certification training and have passed the final test. Certification will last for 24 calendar months from the time of the test, and will be renewed for another 24 months by following another certification training and passing the relevant test before (three months) or after (three months) the expiration date.
The fee for the certification renewal will be 25% lower than the full certification fee. Individuals who will not follow the training or who will fail the test will lose the certified status, and will have to go through the entire certification process (including the payment of the full certification fee).
Organizations will be allowed to display a "certified" badge on their marketing materials (website, data sheets, etcetera) if they employ or contract a certified TDF member contributing in the technical area (development, localization, QA, infrastructure or support), or if they employ or contract a number of certified individuals, according to the following ratios: up to 8 employees / at least one certified individual, up to 20 / at least 2, up to 30 / at least 3, up to 50 / at least 4, up to 100 / at least 5, up to 200 / at least 6, above 200 / at least 7. The "certified" badge must be approved by the Board of Directors, and can be revoked at any time.
Organizations employing or contracting several certified individuals with different specializations might earn the special status of LibreOffice Competence Centre. This special status will be decided by the Board of Directors upon request of the Certification Committee, and can be revoked at any time at sole discretion of the Board of Directors. The status of LibreOffice Competence Center will be based on several parameters: competence, of course, but also relationship with The Document Foundation and global attitude versus free software.
Trainings will be either in English or in the local language, according to the certification: migration will be only in English, as this will be the official language for interacting with TDF, while trainer and support will also be in the local language (as the certified professionals will mostly interface with local users). Examinations will be in the same language as the training.
Some trainings 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.
The Certification Program can be managed through a third party appointed by the Board of Directors. The third party can charge a yearly certification fee to make the process self sustaining. Profits will be fully reinvested in the project.
The Certification Committee will appoint trainers, picking the individuals more suited for each certification. The first tasks of these individuals will be to adapt the contents of the certification program to local needs (training and test materials). Trainers can be paid for their work by the third party collecting the certification fees.
The Certification Committee shall not form a body of The Document Foundation. The Certification Committee will oversee the certification process, approve individual certifications (which must be confirmed by the Board of Directors), and will submit to the Board of Directors the names of the organizations to be approved as LibreOffice Competence Centers.
The Certification Committee is staffed as follows:
Italo Vignoli (coordination); Olivier Hallot and Charles Schulz in representation of the Board of Directors; Sophie Gautier and Cor Nouws in representation of the Membership Committee; Jan Holesovsky (SUSE), Stephan Bergmann (RedHat), Björn Michaelsen (Canonical) and Tim Janik (Lanedo) in representation of developers; Jacqueline Rahemipour and Lothar Becker in representation of third parties.
The Certification Committee will operate mainly via email and IRC.
The Board of Directors will be able to change the composition of the Certification Committee at any time.
Is able to hack LibreOffice code to develop new features or provide L3 Support to enterprise users, researching and developing solutions to new or unknown issues, designing and developing one or more courses of action, evaluating each of these courses in a test case environment, and implementing the best solution to the problem. Once the solution is verified, it is delivered to the customer and given back to the community. Certified Core Developers need to be present TDF members, and part of their certification is peer review by the Engineering Steering Committee.
Certified Migration Professional
Is 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.
Certified Professional Trainer
Is able to teach the use of LibreOffice at basic, intermediate or advanced level.
Certified L1 Support Professional
Is able to handle basic customer issues, gathering the customer’s information and determining the customer’s issue by analyzing the symptoms and figuring out the underlying problem. Technical support specialists in this group typically handle straightforward and simple problems like verifying the proper hardware and software set up, and assisting with application menus. In a corporate environment, the goal for this group is to handle 70%-80% of the user problems before finding it necessary to escalate the issue to L2 support.
Certified L2 Support Professional
Is able to assist L1 support personnel in solving basic technical problems and investigating elevated issues by seeking for known solutions related to these more complex issues. If a problem is new or a solution cannot be determined, is responsible for raising this issue to L3 support. Technical support specialists in this group typically handle complex functional problems. Within a migration project, is 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.