Introducing the Symphony Foundation & Community Blog

In case anyone didn’t notice, for the last three posts, I shamelessly “borrowed” my personal blog to provide updates on the early stages of the Symphony Software Foundation, the non profit company that I have the honor to head.

We have accomplished a lot in the last 7 months, including launching a Community Blog (http://blog.symphony.foundation), for all Symphony Software Foundation and Community Members to follow updates on our Community, Events & Projects.

And From now on, I am going bring this blog to what it’s supposed be, a personal blog.

Building our Community bottom up. Thanks for a great Member Meeting!

An recap of our energizing First Members Meeting

Picture1
A view from the Symphony offices. The reflection in the window kind of adds an air of mystery and intrigue, no?

I wanted to start by thanking everyone for creating so much excitement and traction following our first ever Members Meeting, which took place on May 17th, 2016 at the Conrad Hotel in New York City.

A few A/V hiccups notwithstanding, the meeting went extremely well, with informative presentations and open collaboration throughout the day. There were more than fifty people and 15 organizations represented in attendance, along with over a dozen speakers.  Many of you expressed interest in the material presented during the event, so check out our speakers presentations on Slideshare.

We welcome all members of the Community to dive into the content, and to provide feedback and ideas as we increase both in numbers and in reach.  Once again thank you to all those who participated, the speakers and to Community Members providing feedback and helping us build this Open revolution in Financial Services. 

The purpose of the first meeting was to come together as a group, introduce ourselves, and review the Symphony Software Foundation’s current state and roadmap.  It was also used as a forum to elect members of the Symphony Software Foundation’s ESCo, which we’ll highlight shortly.  Key updates were provided on the status of the organization & governance, product & technology, and community & ecosystem.

For more detailed information, please feel free to review my presentation below, which also outlines the goals and initiatives for Q3 and Q4 of 2016: these include, among other things, completing existing and new inflight contributions, broadening the technology for full open-source readiness, and expanding Membership.

Speaking of Membership, both,  OpenFin and BondLab (Foundation prospective Members) were particularly well-received as prospects at the meeting, which bodes quite well for their candidacy. More to come on that front soon…

Congratulations to Our Newest ESCo Leads

As mentioned, at the meeting Members voted on new ESCo Members leads. First off, I want to thank the 5 Candidates who stepped up, it was a really competitive election.

New ESCo Member Leads
Our newest ESCo Member leads, Johan Forsell of FactSet (left), and Frank Tarsillo of Markit (right).

On behalf of the Symphony Software Foundation Membership and Community, please join us in congratulating the newest leads of the Symphony Software Foundation ESCo,  James Turck of Credit Suisse, pictured on the left, and Frank Tarsillo of Markit, on the right. I am personally  very pleased to have a represetnation from a Founding Member and one from a Community Member, in the spirit of an optimal representation of our Community.

We look forward to their guidance and contributions in the upcoming months and the two years to follow.  For more information about the ESCo, visit our ESCo space.

For a bright Open Source Future on the Symphony Platform 

If you find the time to review the agenda or any of the presentations, you will quickly learn that a lot was covered at the meeting, from code contributions to open source product lifecycle management.

What was most pervasive throughout the presentations and the many discussions, however, was a communal sense of importance and excitement in regards to bringing open source  within Financial Services.

Open source software is no longer a theoretical “nice-to-have”,  but an essential investment that yields a return on investment in a myriad of ways, whether through sweat equity, time and cost savings, collaborative contributions, new product developments, or sheer innovation.

As vanguards within this industry we recognize that change management will be challenging, but we believe that it will not be an uphill battle but merely a matter of time and with your help, I can safely say that that time is now!

We have the opportunity to bring Open Source in Financial Services from the front door, and if you sometimes struggle to see how we are going to do it, well, I think the Mahatma Gandhi had a good way to look at this. Check the video below and I’ll see you at the next Foundation event!

The Symphony Software Foundation is Growing – Join the Community!

It’s been two months since I last posted, and I have a lot of exciting news to share with you.

First off, going forward, my team at the Foundation and I intend to post more frequently; we’ve been quite submerged in our foundational work, but now it’s time to focus on you, our Community.

To that end, despite our incipiency, we’ve seen excellent growth in active Community participation to Working Groups.   Currently, we have, in total, 44 active Members from 17 different organizations actively participating in our 2 Working GroupsCheck Desktop Wrapper / API and Financial Objects Standardization.  And next week, at our First Members Meetingwe plan to start two more, around Symphony Security and Use cases / API.


Additionally, we have received a number of initial code contributions, including the first accepted contribution, from FactSet, with four more contributions in the pipeline, set to be opened in the upcoming weeks:

Kudos to these organizations to put forward 10 Committers who will start contributing at in our OSS repository (currently empty, but not for much longer!) On this note, if you have an idea for a Symphony add-on, just open a CONTRIB issue and we can develop it together in the Open!

Our first Members meeting is on May 17th.  The agenda is packed as there will be a number of presentations and updates from existing and prospective Members, including an important vote for Engineering Steering Committee (“ESCo”) Member Leads.  The ESCo is responsible for the active maintenance and management of all Projects under the Foundation. To learn more about the ESCo and what it does, visit our ESCo space.  We’d like to thank the five Member Lead candidates, from Citi, Credit Suisse, Dow Jones, FactSet and Markit, who stepped up to the challenge to help elevate our efforts.  We wish them luck in Tuesday’s election!

During the Meeting we’ll also have introductory presentations from new prospective Members wanting to join the Foundation, including Mazy Dar from OpenFin. Very much looking forward to it!

We’ve reached near-capacity, so if are from a Member organization and you’re interested in attending, please register with us ASAP!  Or join one of our channels to receive a follow-up to the meeting as well as other news and updates.

In attendance at the meeting will be the newest member of our team, Maurizio (maoo) Pillitu, who starts tomorrow as Director of Release Management & DevOps. We’re thrilled to have him onboard, as his role will be critical to the community’s development, as Maurizio will become over the next few weeks increasingly active in providing a seamless Symphony developer experience in the Foundation. Check out his Github Profile or connect with him on Symphony!

Lastly, if you’re interested in learning more about the Foundation, check out our brief presentation on who we are and what we do and if your organization is interested in applying for membership on, download our prospectus.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Call For Contribution
Join the Symphony Software Foundation Community!

About three months ago I announced that I had joined the Symphony Software Foundation as Executive Director. After my first 90 days on the job, I wanted to give everyone the first public update on the progress of the Foundation.

We are moving fast to execute on our vision to foster an Open Ecosystem on the Symphony platform, shepherding the wave of innovation the world of FinServ and FinTech are experiencing, through collaborative Working Groups and Open Source Governance.

I have received an overwhelming number of requests to join the Community and become a Member of the Foundation.

So I want to start by thanking everyone who participated to this early momentum, including Working Groups‘ participants from our Members and our first proposed contributors!

As I said, lots happened in the last three months – check out the Foundation February 2016 Update for more details. But the bottom line is that I am happy to announce that the Symphony Software Foundation is now fully operational and the key channels of Community interaction are in place.

How can you get involved in the Symphony Community? Three suggestions:

I want you to Open Source!
Join the Symphony Software Foundation!

One conclusive thought regarding the availability of of the code: Since you are here, I am sure you are itching to get your hands on the Symphony Software source code. We are indeed working hard and closely with Symphony to ensure the Foundation is ready to Open Source the code and to provide Foundation contributors an Open development experience on the Symphony API. Stay tuned.

So join the Community and help build the Symphony Open developer experience and of course you’ll be among the first to get access to the Symphony Foundation codebase!

Thank you Alfresco, a 2015 to remember. Welcome Symphony, for an unforgettable 2016

2015 has been full of changes. I love those years where life take major turns and it’s those years that, albeit overwhelming in nature, make life worth living.

Not only I married my wonderful wife Christine, in a dreamy location in my home country in Italy, not only I now have a dog, the first pet in my life (yes a pet picture on this blog!),  but as most of you should know by now, I left Alfresco at the beginning of December 2015.

As you might imagine, it’s been a bittersweet choice, after almost 9 years working on the product, as Partner, SE, Principal Consultant, Global Manager and finally Senior Product Manager for the part of the product I cared the most about, the Developer Platform.
I can’t wait to see 5.1 out in the wild, as a culmination of all the efforts and investments that I & we (people like Ole, Maurizio, Samuel, Martin, Bindu and so many others in the Alfresco ecosystem) have put in the fidelity of the APIs and the general simplification of the developer experience.

There would be too many people to thank for these 9 years, and I’ll probably dedicate a separate post for that. Nevertheless you know who you are, and I deeply thank you for the trust, patience and opportunities you gave me. It’s been an honor. I will continue to be part of the Alfresco Community, in quality of Founder of the Alfresco SDK and continue to cheer for the team, as I think Alfresco is going to continue disrupting the market of ECM and BPM.  Go team Alfresco, I’ll be cheering from the sidelines!

As 2015 and Alfresco are now things of the past, I am proud and honored to announce that I have accepted the position of Executive Director for the Symphony Software Foundation. I will be soon relocating to Palo Alto, California to build a strong and open source ecosystem around the Symphony communications software.

The challenge is big, and equally worthy and exciting: create an open source ecosystem & open API strategy, where major financial services in the world can collaborate and contribute in a standard way, fostering fast innovation, so much needed in the FinTech world.  Some background herehere and here.

All of this, under the laws of open source governance, proven to be successful by examples like OpenStack, CloudFoundry and Open Daylight.

I am digging in this new challenge and I’ll be talking to many peers in the industry and from my open source network over the next months. I will need everyone’s suggestions and advise, so please reach out to me at gabriele at apache org or gab at symphony dot foundation. Also, getting a free account on Symphony and check often www.symphony.foundation are great first steps to follow closely and provide input on the community we’re building.

Thanks everyone for the support and love you showed in 2015. Now onto a memorable 2016, to step even further out of our comfort zones! 🙂