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IKS Early Adopters Programme 

As IKS moves from requirements specification to design and prototypes of the interactive knowledge stack, early adopters will be able to evaluate the various phases of development. The "Alpha" version which is mainly to be validated by the industrial partners of the core consortium. (So the price for being a core industrial partner in IKS is that they will be the "guinea pigs" for our first attempts at enhancing CMS with semantic features!).

Then there will be a "Beta" Version (available April-June 2011) and that version is intended for our early adopters grant scheme. The grants will be in the region of 5000 to 7000 Euro. Here is how the IKS Early Adopter Scheme works: We ask you to enter an evaluation contract which has three elements:

  • a) one of your technical staff will be attending a dedicated workshop where the concepts and workings of the stack will be explained - you receive a travel and subsistence grant for this. Workshops will be held at different locations in Europe so that it will be easy for participants to attend one of them.
  • b) you will be using specific IKS components of your choice (depending on where your firm's technology needs are) and you will integrate them in your current CMS technology. You will receive a development grant for the integration effort and IKS will link to your site if you can show the use of an IKS component.
  • c) we will conduct structured interviews or ask for a brief evaluation report that will help us to develop the final version of IKS which will also be open source and which will also be open for evaluation. You will receive the full payment of the early adopters grant once we have received your report.
  • The grant scheme is offered to approximately 40 CMS firms (Open Source-based CMS is not a pre-condition for participation) and each grant is worth approximately 1 person month of effort as described under a), b) and c).

We recognize that semantic technology - while offering significant benefits - is still a tough beast to tame and we recognize that small firms cannot normally afford to spend the cost of a developer's month just on "trying it out". Here you have the chance of getting at least this initial hurdle paid for, getting the technology explained before you try it, and being able to use it immediately if it does work for you!

Last but not least, you are connected to virtually all of the leading edge players and markets in Europe. As one of the participants from the CMS community remarked at the first IKS workshop: "This is the first time that the representatives of different open source CMS platforms talk about tackling technology issues jointly!" This is the IKS intention: Make your platform stronger!

Evaluation Phases of the IKS Stack 

The early-adopters will be able to validate the various versions of the IKS stack and especially the various components. Components will be available across the layers of the stack from the persistence to the user interaction layer. Such components will include for example a semantic engine to manage ontologies and knowledge models, a semantic editor and a semantic content enrichment engine.

The IKS Stack software will be released in three major iterations. According to the development roadmap the IKS will build an Alpha (2010), Beta (2011) and final release (2012) of a reference implementation of the envisaged Interactive Knowledge Stack. The timeline for the releases and evaluation by external early-adopters is listed below.

Version

Likely Release Date

Number of Early Adopters evaluating each version 
Alpha July-September 2010 5
Beta  April-June 2011 10
Final Release January-March 2012 25
40

The Alpha release will be validated mostly internally, in the project’s pre-defined use cases. There will also be small groups of external early adopters asked to evaluate this early version to ensure continuous improvement of the Interactive Knowledge Stack. The primary focus of the validation phase for the external early adopters will however be the Beta and final releases (the latter being used to build the Road Show Demonstrators). In the final phase a larger group of early adopters (minimum 25) will be asked to validate the IKS stack. The validation process will consist of screencasts/videos of the running system tested onsite with third party content, questionnaires and/or telephone interviews with the IKS team. The exter-nal validation partners will receive a training grant and compensation for writing a validation report as the project's contribution to their acting as early adopters.

Getting Involved

To participate in the IKS Early Adopters programme or for more information please get in contact with the programme managerJohn Pereira Tel: + 43 662 2288 247

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Early Adopters