The Open Source Alliance (OSA) is a trade group and represents the members, all of whom hope to sell their Linux products to the corporate sector. I don't know exactly how they will work together day-to-day, but fundamentally they will guarantee interoperability and perhaps work cooperatively on sales. A company that needs SpikeSource may well need JasperSoft, etc.
So their interest is obvious, but what is the interest of IT departments? It may be that the OSA will present something like a single-source face to the IT department. Problems will not result in round-robin finger-pointing. Ideally, there would be some central, problem-solving facility that would get trouble-tickets worked on cooperatively. Financially, I don't know how that would be arranged, but approached in the proper spirit (if everyone works hard everyone will benefit) such an arrangement could work. CollabNet may very well be the implementation arm of the organization.
The industry force behind this collaboration is the emergence of the software stack as the place where value is added.
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