Paneris is a Collaborative embodied as a set of tools which
facilitate distributed web development.
1. What we have done
The various members of Paneris have built some high quality Web Sites and Web
applications over the last couple of years. Some of these customers are given
here, and all can be found by visiting the Paneris web site.
The United States Navy - Parts ordering system
Mansoft - Software ordering system.
Illustrators.co - Artists showcase
Adrift.co.uk - The worlds #1 White Water Rafting Web Site
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
2. What we have learnt
Building websites is not trivial, but it is not rocket science either.
High quality communications is key to success
Distributed development is successful and productive, but brings with it
it's own set of problems.
We are best placed in the market place as a 'Flexable outsourcing resource
working from End Clients through Partners'
Technical competence is our only real asset.
3. Where are we going
Paneris as a community sees itself as a prototype 'business' model for the
information economy. Our ideas are drawn from a range of sources and experience.
We have all spent many years working in the IT industry, and have seen so much
go wrong. The drive to run away from 'pointy headed bosses' is key, as they
largely increase the cost, and reduce the effectiveness of solutions produced.
Paneris is not currently legal entity, and will never become a company that
makes profits. Its ambition is to build a community (or perhaps guild), that
can threaten the status quo in the application development market.
We are completely web centric, and do not undertake new work that does not
use Internet technologies.
4. The Structure
The 4 levels of interacting with Paneris
Members of Paneris. Members of Paneris are free to brand their
work under the paneris banner and exploit the resources available. Members
of Paneris must use the Paneris systems when working with other Paneris
Members, Partners and Customers. Members of Paneris are expected to behave
ethically and for the good of the community
Paneris Partners. Paneris Partners use the resources of Paneris by
interacting with their Key Paneris Member. Partners will
be encouraged to use the Paneris tools, but it is understood that they will
often have their own agenda.
End Clients. These are the people for whom we build systems. They
interact with one of the above.
5. Open Source Software
Paneris does not feel there is any money to be made in selling software. There
is only one company in the world that achieves this (Microsoft), and their position
is under threat from a number of fronts.
We therefor sell consultancy and solutions, and give the software developed
away. Whenever possible the software developed will be supplied under a General
Public License or a Library General Public License. This allows anybody to use
and change the code without restriction (although it is usual to keep the original
By supplying software under OSS, we do not get involved with ongoing maintenance
contracts, freeing the customer and ourselves from ongoing commitments. It allows
us to support the software supplied on a 'price per job' or 'hourly rate' basis
which is attractive to our clients from a cost basis, and has long term benefits
to us for flexibility, legacy issues, and costs.
OSS has tremendous momentum, and is a paradigm that is set to change the software
industry as we know it.
OSS success stories include:
The industry has recently be rocked by Microsoft's leaked assessment of the
OSS phenonenon in the Halloween Documents http://www.opensource.org/halloween.html.
These are very valuable reading.
A mechanism of making decisions by special interest group. It has gained widespread
acceptance as a governance mechanism of the internet. Everyone is treated as
equal with the power and logic of their arguments being used to decide the outcome.
Debates take place in Public Forums and everyone is welcome to contribute.
Specifically for Paneris it means:
You can do what you want.
Disagreement leads to discussion.
Unresolved discussion leads to a call for votes.
Any interested party can vote.
We currently have a relationship with I-way and are actively looking for other ISPs to partner.
Paneris consider this to be a 'Good Idea'. However security is still required
especially to prevent corruption of data in business critical systems.
For customers a gentle approach was agreed, we have the following procedure:
Introduce openness by giving simple contact info about the customer, and
judge the response.
Password Protect if required
Slowly add more information, encouraging the customer to approve of openness.
Data belonging to Paneris (such as invoices, timesheets etc) will always be
open. NB: Flexibility (below).
In the environment in which we work, Flexibility is crucial. The mechanisms
that Paneris is developing all seek to include maximum flexibility. 'Dogmatic'
is the worst thing that you can call a member of Paneris.
Central to Members of Paneris surviving the recession is our ability to keep
costs down. We currently cost our time out at £50 per hour, and the 'standard'
rate of dealings between paneris members is £40. This is reflected here:
A job is worth: Price for Job - Fixed Costs
80% of the job then goes to paying developers (calculated on an hourly basis)
10% goes to the finder of the work
10% goes to the manager and biller of the job.
The management fee is not sacrosanct, and will be cut by agreement if the job
overruns etc. Some members of paneris cost their time at less that £32,
and often on fixed price jobs which overrun, developers get as little as £20
None of use are involved to get rich, but simply (to (miss)quote Billy Bragg)
'to build a path from cradle to grave'.
The most difficult area of Paneris has turned out to be the management of the
relationships between those out side and those within. Nobody likes to have them
but we have forced to introduce the following Rules.
We will not do business with a customer's client without written permission
from the customer.
We will not take work directly from a customer introduced to us by another
member without written permission.
Customers introduced to a Paneris Member by another may not approach the
second with work without written permission from the first.
12. Employment and Roles
These are broadly considered a bad idea as they did not encourage the flat
structure of Adhocracy.
13. The Immediate Future
We have made a strong ideological commitment to OSS, and are currently building
a web server to allow us more control over developing customer sites and our
own systems. The server will only run OSS software: Linux, Perl, Apache, and
Paneris. PanerisII is an exciting project that will carry us forward. We hope
to have completed the majority development by Christmas.
We have just completed a very significant project for Iglu.com. We hope to
build on this with more projects of a similar or larger size (1000 man hours).
We are very excited that Keyhaven are interested in joining the community,
and are looking forward to the perspective that they will bring to the group.
Predicting how things will change as we expand is difficult, but this only makes