Former OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen Launches Company Targeting Enterprise IT With Open Source Development Approach

New 'Collaborative Software Initiative' Partners with HP, IBM and Novell

with Investment Backing by OVP Venture Partners

Apr 16, 2007, 01:00 ET from Collaborative Software Initiative

    PORTLAND, Ore., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Former Open Source Development
 Labs (OSDL) CEO Stuart Cohen today launched a new company that will solve
 shared enterprise IT problems by bringing together companies to develop
 software at half the cost of outsourcing. The company, Collaborative
 Software Initiative (CSI), is pioneering a market-changing process that
 applies open source methodologies to business communities facing similar IT
     Evan Bauer, financial services industry veteran and former chief
 technology officer at Credit Suisse First Boston, will partner with Cohen
 to lead the projects and develop the technology architecture as chief
 technology officer for CSI.
     CSI is initially working with industry leaders HP, IBM and Novell to
 help vertical industries identify and scope projects where collaboration
 among industry peers can meet requirements quicker and with less expense.
     "Business IT managers working in vertical industries have fundamental
 software challenges that can be effectively addressed by working with a
 trusted partner and like-minded industry peers. The Collaborative Software
 Initiative facilitates those partnerships by bringing together customers
 with similar IT issues to lower costs for essential but non-core software,"
 said Daniel Frye, vice president, Open Systems Development, IBM. "CSI
 represents the next round of innovation for open development and will be
 the catalyst for bringing customers together to tackle shared IT
     Government and industry standards are driving much of today's software
 development, prompting IT managers to outsource fundamental projects that
 require too much time and money. CSI offers a better way, based on more
 than 10 years of proven methodologies in open source development. This
 approach, called Collaborative Software, is software developed or acquired
 by a variety of like-minded companies at a fraction of internal development
 or outsourcing costs. For applications that don't enable competitive
 advantage or are associated with non-value added activities such as
 compliance, Collaborative Software allows business managers to maintain
 individual control and direction over a project while accelerating
 compliance, reducing costs and consolidating project timelines.
     "With the successful adoption of Linux and open source software, we are
 really on the cusp of a new wave in software development where business
 managers are looking to cooperatively develop software to meet their
 industry application needs," said Stuart Cohen, CEO of the Collaborative
 Software Initiative. "CSI provides an experienced partner to form
 communities where today none exist and together build Collaborative
 Software that can be maintained and updated."
     "Free and open source software principles are carrying the software
 market forward and putting older, largely proprietary, ways of doing
 business to the test," said Eben Moglen, chair of the Software Freedom Law
 Center and pioneer in the FOSS movement. "By adapting these principles to
 collaborative computing among industries, the CSI is formalizing an
 important step in the FOSS evolution."
     The company has received financing from early-stage venture capital
 firm OVP Venture Partners.
     "There is a tremendous demand for community source innovations, and
 Stuart is the best person around to determine how to commercialize these
 efforts," said Gerry Langeler, general partner at OVP Venture Partners and
 CSI board member. "This is a terrifically exciting endeavor and we are
 delighted to be working with him."
     CSI will form the project community and provides the central project
 management function for developing Collaborative Software, including
 development, testing and support for the code. The CSI will also offer the
 software to a broader base of customers under the open source licensing or
 Software as a Service (SaaS) models.
     "The Collaborative Software Initiative is the next logical step in the
 evolution of the Open Source industry," said Brian Behlendorf, founder of
 CollabNet and co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation. "It will bring
 the next wave of companies into this proven model for writing software
 together - with the shared goals of eliminating redundant efforts, saving
 time and money, and using the best practices of successful Open Source
 developer communities to ensure quality and longevity."
     "Developing software applications for vertical industries represents a
 unique challenge for both business managers and IT managers," said Ron
 Hovsepian, president and chief executive officer at Novell. "The
 Collaborative Software Initiative effectively addresses those challenges by
 using an open source development model to bring together customers with
 similar IT challenges to jointly develop essential but non-competitive
 applications. We look forward to many of these applications running on top
 of our SUSE Linux Enterprise platform."
     About the Collaborative Software Initiative
     Collaborative Software Initiative (CSI), founded in 2007 by Stuart
 Cohen, a veteran IT executive and former chief executive officer of the
 Open Source Development Labs, brings together like-minded companies to
 build software applications at half the cost of outsourcing. CSI introduces
 a market-changing process that applies open source methodologies to
 building Collaborative Software that lowers investments associated with
 non-competitive yet essential IT activities. For more information, please
     About OVP Venture Partners
     For over 24 years, OVP Venture Partners has led the drive into new,
 high- growth technology markets in the Pacific Northwest. OVP's strategy of
 focusing on early stage investments in defined spaces has yielded proven
 results; the firm's record of 52 liquidity events - including 22 IPOs -
 leads the region. The OVP team has a passion for working with
 ground-breaking entrepreneurs and high-caliber investors, and is known for
 its track record and personal integrity. OVP has over $750 million in
 capital under management and is currently investing its seventh fund.
     OVP has offices in Seattle and Portland and concentrates on
 opportunities at the intersection of technology's next big waves and
 foundational strengths native to the region. The firm's recent activity has
 included deals in communications, software, security, semiconductors,
 digital biology, and nanotechnology.
     The OVP team includes investing partners Chad Waite, Lucinda Stewart,
 Mark Ashida, Rick LeFaivre and Carl Weissman in Seattle and Gerry Langeler,
 Dave Chen and John Hull in Portland. Chad Waite serves on the Board of the
 National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).
     More information on the partnership is available at
      Media Contacts
      Jennifer Cloer
      Page One PR
      Sara Morris
      OVP Venture Partners

SOURCE Collaborative Software Initiative