FCOOS De­liv­ers a Re­ward­ing Open Source Ex­pe­ri­ence to its Cus­tomers and the Com­mu­nity

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FCOOS (Fly­ing Con­cepts On Open Source) is one of the lead­ing open source based IT in­fra­struc­ture ser­vice providers based in Ben­galuru with op­er­a­tions across the world. The com­pany’s core ex­per­tise is in IT in­fra­struc­ture man­age­ment and it has pro­duc­tised ser­vices re­lated to fire­walls, email servers, the cloud and VoIP gate­ways.

Fly­ing Con­cepts On Open Source

As its name sug­gests, FCOOS’ core ex­per­tise is in open source tech­nolo­gies and open stan­dards. The com­pany be­lieves that its re­li­gion is open source, and op­er­ates in ser­vice do­mains that are spe­cialised in IT in­fra­struc­ture.

FCOOS po­si­tions it­self be­tween the com­mu­nity and its cus­tomers. Led by founder, CTO and com­mu­nity co­or­di­na­tor, San­deep Athi­yarth, the com­pany adds value to both the com­mu­nity and its cus­tomers by sup­port­ing and prac­tis­ing open source mod­els. It con­trib­utes to the com­mu­nity fi­nan­cially by shar­ing nearly 5-10 per cent of the projects, de­liv­er­ing prof­its in var­i­ous ways. This comes from ei­ther di­rect con­tri­bu­tions, pro­vid­ing train­ing or through var­i­ous part­ner­ship sub­scrip­tions. Also, the Ben­galuru-based com­pany main­tains fo­rums and sub­mits bug re­ports to the com­mu­ni­ties that it is di­rectly in­volved with. Cur­rently, the com­pany is not in­volved in any devel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties but is in the process of build­ing up ex­per­tise to con­trib­ute on var­i­ous fronts.

IT in­fra­struc­ture ser­vice de­liv­ery mod­els

FCOOS is mainly a team of sys­tems, servers and net­work ad­min­is­tra­tors. Shrini­vas Rao, di­rec­tor of IT in­fra­struc­ture op­er­a­tions, leads dif­fer­ent IT teams that jointly serve three types of de­liv­ery mod­els, namely, on­site, visit based and re­mote.

FCOOS’ res­i­dent en­gi­neers work on the on­site model, sup­port­ing en­ter­prise in­fra­struc­ture with ad­vanced mon­i­tor­ing tools and re­mote ex­pert teams. The com­pany also uses mod­ern open source tools to an­tic­i­pate any is­sues, take the nec­es­sary ac­tion when re­quired and adopt proper change man­age­ment meth­ods.

The visit model is based on sup­port. This is a tai­lor-made op­tion for small and medium en­ter­prises that do not re­quire an in-house sup­port team to man­age their IT in­fra­struc­ture. FCOOS is also lever­ag­ing its re­mote team, IT in­fra man­age­ment team and mon­i­tor­ing tools manned round the clock to power its visit based sup­port.

The third model com­prises the end-to-end re­mote man­age­ment of IT in­fra­struc­ture and ap­pli­ca­tions. Here, the re­mote team by FCOOS is avail­able al­most round the clock to govern, ad­min­is­ter, man­age and mon­i­tor. These will be mainly based on open source and some pro­pri­etary ap­pli­ca­tions as well. There is a team of en­gi­neers cer­ti­fied by com­pa­nies like Red Hat, Cisco, Check­point, Or­a­cle and Mi­crosoft to sup­port var­i­ous de­ploy­ments.

Fire­wall and se­cu­rity ser­vices

The fire­wall ser­vice by FCOOS is cur­rently cen­tred on the world’s most trusted and pop­u­lar open source fire­wall —pfSense. The com­pany has of­fi­cially part­nered with the pfSense team and Ne­gate. Lead by Nilesh Bosamiya, the fire­wall team op­er­ates as an au­tho­rised value re­seller of Net­gate hard­ware with pfSense, and it sells and sup­ports its home­grown hard­ware us­ing the same open source fire­wall.

Ad­di­tion­ally, FCOOS has net­work au­dit­ing and vul­ner­a­bil­ity scan­ning ser­vices un­der its se­cu­rity ser­vices team. These also come with the open source tools, OpenVAS or Nes­sus.

Ser­vices tar­geted at the cloud and devOps

FCOOS has a ded­i­cated cloud team sup­port­ing cus­tomers from across In­dia and abroad. Led by Balaji Mu­ru­gan, the sales team for cloud ser­vices has of­fi­cially part­nered with Ama­zon Web Ser­vices, and re­ceives sup­port di­rectly from an AWS-ded­i­cated sales and tech­ni­cal team.

The AWS-cer­ti­fied team pro­vides sup­port on top of AWS in­fra­struc­ture with var­i­ous Web ap­pli­ca­tions like Apache, Tom­cat and Node JS. FCOOS also has an ex­pert team fo­cused on MySQL, Post­greSQL and Mon­goDB ad­min­is­tra­tion. It has a con­sid­er­able cus­tomer base with Mag­neto de­ployed for var­i­ous e-com­merce sites. The com­pany is an of­fi­cial part­ner of Docker, and has cus­tomers with au­to­ma­tion en­gines with Pup­pet and Chef.

Part­ner­ships with Elastix and Red Hat

FCOOS is an of­fi­cial part­ner of Elastix and serves cus­tomers across In­dia, im­prov­ing their ROI by us­ing open source for their voice com­mu­ni­ca­tion re­quire­ments. The com­pany pro­vides mi­gra­tion and sup­port ser­vices on top of Elastix-based As­terisk so­lu­tions. It is also an au­tho­rised Elastix re­seller and ser­vice provider.

In ad­di­tion to Elastix, FCOOS has re­cently started con­cen­trat­ing on Red Hat prod­ucts and ser­vices. The com­pany is con­sid­er­ing the SaaS (Soft­ware-as-a-Ser­vice) model to let cus­tomers pay only for monthly sub­scrip­tions, thus avoid­ing any cap­i­tal in­vest­ment.

ERPNext and Bugzilla

Open source is a re­li­gion for FCOOS. Re­cently, it has part­nered with ERPNext, an­other great open source prod­uct team and a vi­brant com­mu­nity, and started us­ing ERPNext at its own level and pro­poses to do the same for its cus­tomers.

FCOOS has ad­di­tion­ally started the mi­gra­tion of Tally and other pro­pri­etary ERP sys­tems to ERPNext, which is pro­gress­ing at a much faster pace than ex­pected. Since the com­pany’s in­cep­tion, it has part­nered with the Bugzilla project and has con­trib­uted to it in var­i­ous ways.

Ap­proach to pro­pri­etary soft­ware prod­ucts

FCOOS has a pas­sion for and the ex­per­tise in open source. This does not mean that the com­pany op­poses pro­pri­etary soft­ware or closed devel­op­ment mod­els, but re­spects them as other tech­nol­ogy mod­els and con­sid­ers them to be im­por­tant op­tions for cus­tomers.

When FCOOS takes up any project that in­volves sup­port­ing pro­pri­etary soft­ware, it quickly be­gins spe­cial­is­ing in those re­quire­ments. This en­sures value to the cus­tomer, who de­pends only on a sin­gle ven­dor but still en­joys the re­quired sup­port. Still, if there is an op­tion to mi­grate an ap­pli­ca­tion to the rel­e­vant open source plat­form, FCOOS pro­poses the idea and of­fers a bet­ter ROI to the cus­tomer.

Host­ing ser­vices

Along with de­liv­er­ing open source so­lu­tions, FCOOS of­fers two host­ing ser­vices. One is the hosted email ser­vices with iRed­mail, and the sec­ond is backup so­lu­tions with ownCloud and Back­upPC. The com­pany is not into the com­mod­ity mar­ket of mail­boxes. In­stead, it pro­vides these ser­vices as value ad­di­tion to its IT in­fra­struc­ture sup­port cus­tomers. Still, the Ben­galuru based com­pany is able to match the price of ` 75 per mail­box, which is com­par­a­tively low cost. The same goes for its backup ser­vices as well.

In the SMB mar­ket, there is a lot of con­fu­sion about back­ups and how to take them in the ex­ist­ing IT in­fra­struc­ture. FCOOS eval­u­ates an SMB’s re­quire­ments and takes full re­spon­si­bil­ity for its back­ups by pro­vid­ing com­pute and stor­age along with ser­vices.

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