Monthly Archives: October 2014

8-11 December 2014 OpenNMS at TM Forum Digital Disruption

The show is now over but you can see a report on the show here

OpenNMS and the TM Forum

The TM Forum is a global trade association trusted by the world’s largest enterprises, service providers and suppliers to help them continuously transform to succeed in the digital economy. It seeks to help  members reduce cost and risk, improve business agility and grow their business through a wealth of knowledge, tools, standards, training and practical advice.

For many years, OpenNMS has been participating in the technical program of the TM Forum. We led the development of the JOSIF Open Source Interface tooling and have participated in multiple proof of concept catalysts.

This year for the first time we are taking a stand in the Digital Innovation Hub at the North American Digital Disruption conference in Silicon Valley, San Jose CA from 8-11th Dec.

When: 8-11th December 2014

Where: San Jose Convention Center
150 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Please come along and see us at the event.

What is TM Forum’s Digital Disruption


TM Forum Live! Digital Disruption 2014 brings together a collaborative community of service providers, enterprises and disruptors for an exciting and productive journey through the processes of digital innovation and business transformation. Showcasing the three hottest areas of the digital ecosystem: Agile Business & IT, Open Digital and Customer Engagement, connect with experts and like-minded professionals who want to share experiences, expertise, opinions and demonstrations. Take away actionable insights and practical knowledge to lead the investment in transformation.

OpenNMS for Government IT at SOCTIM 2014

Marketing OpenNMS to Government:- 

Traditionally Open Source projects don’t have much of a marketing budget and tend to rely on world of mouth or technical conferences to promote the value of the product. This has served OpenNMS well in the past but we are coming to think that the reason many technically inferior closed source products do so well is because of their ability to market to decision makers in the ICT sector. With this in mind we have been putting a lot more effort into getting the message out about OpenNMS this year through workshops, attendance at shows and direct marketing. Of course the problem is, as John Wanamaker is quoted as saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

One of the most difficult areas to crack is Government which is naturally risk averse and in the present climate finds it difficult to budget for new innovations. However, we decided this year to reach out directly through SOCTIM the trade association which represents the ICT managers in the UK Government . They run an annual trade show and this year we teamed up with Shadowcat Ltd to rent a stand.

soctim2014-10-22 14.27.07 Our Enthusiastic OpenNMS reps on Day 2

 soctim2014-10-21 11.42.12Our Enthusiastic OpenNMS reps on Day 1(Ian Norton and Craig Gallen)

What is SOCTIM ?

SOCTIM is the professional body for people involved in the leadership and management of IT and digitally enabled services delivered for public benefit. Each year SOCTIM organises a conference for IT professionals in the UK public sector. Drawing on contributions from leading politicians, industry experts and local practitioners, Socitm 2014 provided an exciting opportunity for ICT professionals from across the public sector to take on the challenge of designing and articulating the value of a deeper digital presence.


How useful was the Show?

We wanted to give as wide a view as possible of the potential for OpenNMS because for people who have never used a network management solution, we have to spark the imagination and show them what is possible. We demonstrated the key new features of OpenNMS V 1.14 but we also demonstrated how OpenNMS can be used to build solutions such as the Open Alert App we prototyped at Jersey Digital Hub .

In addition we showed how services can be built using OpenNMS. Shadowcat have built a subscription management offering on top of OpenNMS called ShadowNMS which uses OpenNMS as the core engine but provides a much simpler user experience for subscribers who want to manage a small number of servers or sites using a cloud solution. (We will review this separately in another blog) .

We did attract a lot of interest but it was obvious that the usual Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) with respect to Open Source still appeared to pervade the community. We got the usual scepticism about ‘free software’ which usually began to a bait once we told the OpenNMS story.  There is a general unwillingness to engage with open source in government because of the perceived risk and because many don’t understand the Open Source business model. At one session, a local council was promoting a suit of finance software they had written with a view to selling it  as a COTS solution to other local authorities. I asked the obvious question, ‘why didn’t you open source the solution for other authorities’?  but the response indicated that they felt this would be poor use of taxpayers money.  It appears to me that if the objective was to reduce the cost to the local councils for maintaining a suit of software, the open source solution would be much better use of tax payers money than trying to commercialise the IPR in a limited market. Cest la Vie…

Cost effective Innovation also featured highly in the conference agenda. However not much thought was given to how agile development is actually done and the value of open source development techniques in the process of innovation.I think thet the Open Source community has a lot to contribute here if we can find champions to actively promote the cause in Government. So even before we get to explaining the value of OpenNMS there is a lot of work to do to help Government wake up to understand how to organise themselves so as to exploit open source solutions effectively. We hope to be using the SOCTIM channel going forwards to encourage this debate.


About Shadowcat


Shadowcat Systems is an open source software developer and software consultancy provider based in the UK but accustomed to operating worldwide via electronic communications and distributed development environments. They offer proven expertise in development of networked systems and reliably automating manual processes from business workflow to systems and network management.

Shadowcat have the experience to deliver fully integrated open source solutions which are managed by OpenNMS.

Contact Shadowcat

128 The Barracks White Cross South Road Lancaster LA1 4XQ

+44 (0)1524 842155

E-mail addresses


About OpenNMS UK


Entimoss Ltd (OpenNMS UK) is a full partner with OpenNMS Group Inc

They act as evangelists for the OpenNMS project and represent the community into technical communities such as the Telemanamgent Forum and the UK Network Operators Forum

They sell consulting, support and custom development services for users of the OpenNMS platform in the UK and Ireland.


Contact OpenNMS UK

Dr. Craig Gallen

entimOSS Ltd (OpenNMS UK)

6 Burnett Close, Bitterne Park, Southampton, SO181JD

+44 7789 938012 (m)

Skype: craig.gallen


Company registered in England and Wales No. 06402040

VAT Registration No. 140 6387 23

OpenNMS In Ireland

We will be putting a lot more effort into building the profile of OpenNMS in Ireland. If you are a potential user of the project, please get in touch with OpenNMS UK we would love to visit with you.

Ireland has a very vibrant IT community and is a significant host to major European data centre operations including Google, MySpace, Yahoo and Amazon AWS. In September Craig Gallen attended the UK Network Operations forum UKNOF29 & Internet Society ION Conference conference in Belfast which was also attended by a significant number of Irish representatives. This showed the potential opportunity for OpenNMS in the Irish community.


OpenNMS has recently been putting a lot of effort into raising the profile of the project in Ireland. We already have a number of very supportive users especially Airspeed Telecom who sponsored an OpenNMS workshop in Dublin in October. Peter Hendrick the Technical Director of AirSpeed Telecom spoke about his company’s experiences with OpenNMS and Tarus Balog and David Hustace from OpenNMS gave an update on the status of the project.

AirspeedWorkshopDublinTarusAirspeedPeterAirspeedAttendees at Dublin OpenNMS WorkshopTarus BalogPeter Hendrick   

We Won – Jersey Hackathon 2014 !!!




We Won the Digital Jersey Hackathon.

On 26th September 2014 Craig Gallen and Mark Wharton joined forty developers huddled over their screens for 48 hours at the Jersey Digital Hub for the first ever Jersey Hackathon.

Much to our surprise, we won the prize for the best App; Open Alert, a tool for on site workers based upon OpenNMS.

Open Alert a Man on Site Application

The Open Alert ‘Man on Site’ App combined with OpenNMS provides a simple service to check on the health and safety of people working alone on site. This could be a useful feature where OpenNMS is used by a Service Provider to manage a distributed network and there are often travelling workers working alone on remote sites. In these cases it is usual for the work to report in to the Network Operations Center (NOC) on a regular basis that they are OK. Having their status automatically tracked and escalated alongside other network issues could really help.

The basic application could have other uses though to report the status of other lone workers such as health visitors or security guards etc. In this case, OpenNMS would simply be being used as a platform to give a display of the workers location on site and their status. (It wouldn’t be managing a network).

Further more the basic service could be extended to gather statistics from the Android app other than just it’s location. This would provide the basic framework to collect metrics from a device as it travels around.

More Details

For more details and to see the code go to