Research Data Alliance (RDA) Brokering Governance Working Group Business Models Team AGENDA – MEETING 3 – 13/14 August 2015 Objectives of meeting 3: To communicate results of individual business model assessments To establish a strategy for defining recommendations To assign writing tasks for white paper Attendees: Sue Fyfe (co-Chair) Lindsay Powers (Co-Chair) Andrew Turner Senay Habtezion Graham Allen Jay Pearlman Francoise Pearlman Karl Benedict Kristin Milton Rebecca Koskela Apologies: Bill Michener Mairi Best Clifford Jacobs Stefano Nativi AGENDA No. Item Actions 1 (Lindsay) Welcome Introduce Kristin Milton (Sue) Kristin is replacing Sue with the role of Acting Director Science Data Platforms and Strategy Section at Geoscience Australia. Background in spatial and environmental data, open data, data access. Kristin is looking at technology platforms for data sharing. They have a comprehensive capability for data serving and data acquisition. Accept minutes of Meeting 2 – moved and accepted 2 Discussion of report framework put forward by Cliff Jacobs In the report below, responses to the following questions should be clear: 1. Readership Target for the report? – RDA Board and community? – Business operators? – Research community? – Agents of Change – who are they? Federal agencies or funding sources – Should we publish this is a journal – addressing a generic group of software applications – readership may be broader than a specific journal and may include businesses that would not read a journal – Cliff was thinking of an peerreviewed electronic journal and then reference it. – this would be a way to distribute it effectively. – [AT] What is the background of the reader and what do we want them to do. What is action we are expecting a reader to take? How have we impacted the actions in the community? What do we measure success by? – [CJ] - We are identifying a risk – if we do not solve the sustainability of the middleware form of SW, then we may fail in the broader goals of RDA. Here, sustainability is updated software that is current and alive. There are a lot of aspects to sustainability. This may include a flux of money and the question is how is this generated? – [AT] what is the money flux used for? People, software development, advocacy? – [LP] It depends on the model that we are using – [SF] Money for software vitality and also funds for promotion at the global level – [LP] community development is more important if there is a separate hosting of sw rather than a data facility. – [SN] RDA Executive Committee is one of targets, we are talking about middleware and what is interesting is that middleware is not part of traditional client-server pattern, there is a three tier structure. – [JP] RDA Board, funding agencies, user and hosting community – [KB] this is consistent with the different aspects of creating software, hosting software and using software – looking at the life cycle process. The report should efficiently communicate to these audiences. 2. Advocacy to move forward? – [CJ] We need categories to write the report. Report should define risks and possible path forward. He assumes there will be recommendations which may be either broad categories or priority list. Actions must be by those advocates to move forward – [LP] We will converge on some level of advocacy and recommendations for models. It depends on the model/s recommended who we will advocate to. – [CJ] Even with a recommendation, the onus falls on the current software development. For example, Jay and Stefano will have to take – – – – – – – – – – – action because they are responsible for maintaining their current brokering software into the future. Who will take the action? Is it all three groups [KM] Should we address future states on interoperability? [SF] If there was a community that strongly supports “this” (brokering middleware and services as a fundamental enabler), then they could define steps forward. Sue suggests that the data repository community is a critical component. [LP] Brokerage is a broad term and not a specific software – these are models that address middleware in a broader sense. [CJ] middleware as NetCDF may be an example of middleware that have a path for sustainment, but there may be others that do not have a path currently [SN] Agrees there is a more general definition of middleware that we are addressing but brokerage middleware is a new actor and we need to advocate for it in a different way. [LP] One outcome of the white paper that could be brought to other communities such as GEO, Belmont Forum, WDS for engaging and advocating the business model. It would be good to get a consortium of umbrella organizations to sign on to a statement of commitment. [KM] We could advocate an architectural approach e.g. use of open standards to support interoperability regardless of platform [KB] Let’s differentiate between the business model and the architecture. Focus on architecture that can be supported in a broad sense under a variety of business models [AT] we need to go beyond a specific implementation and address the broader issue. [SN] we should try to remain in a neutral position on technology – we do not need to address the world of software, but stay focused on the class of software which operates as middleware. The challenging part is that we are addressing a new breed of SW in middleware [LP] Middleware serves a broad range of communities (not evenly) and this is a harder demand as local applications are generally adapted by the appropriate community. Its hard to find a universal home for brokering middleware. – [CJ] We want to be careful to not broaden the discussion too much. Will this make the convergence to a business model too complex? – [AT] NetCDF is a format and interfaces rather than a comprehensive middleware. – [SN] Gave a definition of broker – a technology that brings many other technologies together and we want to ask how broad we want to address the general class of middleware. We can start with the broker as a way to converge the discussion and then put sentences in the report that extension of the report can address the broader middleware. This would allow interoperability to be a focus in addition to middleware. – Consensus – If approach the analysis in a systematic way, then the analysis may be applicable for a broader range of middleware. – Focus on brokering and then address in some sentences the broader applications 3. User Target (community) for the “business”? 4. What business model will provide a sustainable solution for middleware (brokering)? 5. Is this business model more broadly applicable to the multiple customer bases? 6. What metrics can be defined for model assessment? 7. ???? 3 Brief overview of individual business models a. Information and Ad sales Bill (1) plus Mairi Best? b. Product (document sales) – combine with Corporate Support below Neither present – to be done c. Corporate Support Bill (2) plus Senay Habtezion? Karl Benedict – starting up and Karl and Senay will contact Bill. d. “Software as a Service” (SaaS) – refer to and discuss attached “Software as a Service Pricing Strategies” for context Jay (2) Andrew (1?) Looking at SaaS business model. Looking at what makes SaaS unique. Reviewed the definition from the vugraphs. Looking at pricing models = capacity based, feature based, time based model, use case model, revenue sharing model (kick start), charging for user support, level of service model – Comparing these against successful and failure use cases Implementation considerations – obstacles that may be unique to a SaaS and legal and policy issues. [CJ] – SaaS is a different approach than is outlined in the paper. He assumed that SaaS was the key process and then we were addressing revenue models for SaaS. [AT] are we looking at the end user and the the level of the pockets. [SF] The ability to provide a revenue model is an important part of the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ discussion and fits into the outline that was created by Cliff. [SH] Do we have specific IP and legal issues that will be addressed? [AT] Issues come when crossing national and international boundaries. [SH] agreed to write a short piece on legal and intellectual property considerations for the paper [KB] the IP and legal may shape certain aspects of the model discussion e. Government Funding Cliff (1) Sue (1) plus Graham Allen? [CJ] The discussion on government funding – it can be good, but quite variable. If an awardee is asked to fund a software service, there is a risk to sustainability. Grants are flexible and that is a benefit. If the government will agree to direct long term support of middleware, this is attractive. [SF] Australian Govt funding supported the Australian National Data Service to open and stimulate research data management, open data sharing and eResearch innovation. Ten years is a long time for government funding and now the research funding is ending and the work is at risk. Government funding is not really sustainable over the long term. [CJ] NSF is not a mission oriented agency and is support research, but do not have a chartered applications mission. [SF] It is this reason that a repository support becomes important. [CJ&SF] There must be a statement that there are two types of agencies – mission and funding support; Govt funding is great for kicking off an area but there are limitations when addressing long term development and sustainability. [LP] there are differences between nations on this topic and this should be noted and commented upon. f. Not for profit using grants for startup ?? g. Consortium model Lindsay (1) Cliff (2) [LP] There needs to be strong leadership for a consortium, strong relationships and a critical mass of users and members. There is a need for significant resources for staff and further development. Capability can be built internally or subcontracted to members. Requires ongoing and significant community development. A consortium needs a home and a place where infrastructure can be housed. There is not a use case that LP has seen. – most of the consortia are not focused on long term sustainment, they develop SW but do not maintain it. [CJ] One type of consortium draws on membership for development. UCAR is also a consortia of a different type, CUAHsi, OGC, UCAR could be looked at as examples. h. Federal data facility guardianship Lindsay (1) Cliff (2) plus Graham Allen? Adopting externally (or internally) developed software which is then adopted for user support. [CJ] NOAA weather forecasting software tends not to interface with the research community. There are cases where NOAA might provide the SW to NCAR, but also tells NCAR that they have responsibility to the community for its operations and outcomes. [LP] There is a need to have an advocacy for sustainability and the vision to reach beyond their normal user base. Moving beyond the traditional data facilities (IRIS, UNAVCO, …) there are other classes of facilities such as DataOne or EarthCube or Belmont Forum – These may be conceptual homes for a future service. [CJ] FFRDC would be excellent places to look. 20 0f 40 FFRDC deal with atmospheric 4 5 data. DOE services a broader range of environmental issues. [AT] FFRDC are internally and externally competitive and may be more like a consultancy. Could we address an organization such as PNW Labs. [CJ] He has a list and background on FFRDCs and can offer it to the library. Defining recommendations - not ready to address this yet (also, it was not discussed due to limitations of time) Schedule and tasking for preparation of white paper (We are already behind schedule) Introduction – Community requirements Standardizing business model analysis inputs Synthesis and rubric figures Synthesis of recommendations Are we sticking with Cliff’s outline for each section? Andrew suggests that we can go that direction and then resort section as necessary. There is general agreement to move forward this way. Sue will continue compiling material into the draft. Sue noted that papers and reference material is available on the RDA Broker WG file area. General agreement to continue to do this. Stefano offered to circulate a definition of the broker Senay will look at legal and policy. All sections of the report in draft should be available for the next meeting in two weeks. 6 Date for next meeting – meeting close Can we meet again in two weeks to solidify the document? There is agreement. Lindsay will issue a doodle poll tomorrow morning.