Last week, ten vendors announced at the LinuxWorld OpenSolutions Summit in New York that they\u2019d be forming an Open Solutions Alliance to address the problem of interoperability (or a lack thereof) between open source applications. At the time, I thought, here is an example of companies collaborating and pooling their resources together to reduce the complexities businesses encounter with the decision to use open source.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 \u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Then I remembered I better check that statement with the experts (most of whom didn\u2019t exactly hail the alliance\u2019s formation as some big breakthrough in the open source community). In fact, some wondered if they\u2019re even focused on the right problem.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Composed of vendors specializing in open source, the alliance\u2019s goal is to focus on \u201cdefining and promoting tools, frameworks and best practices that facilitate easy deployment and interoperability between applications.\u201d The newly formed group branded itself as \u201cvendor neutral\u201d and then (without a hint of irony) listed its members, which included the likes of Jaspersoft, Hypernic, EntepriseDB, Spikesource, Adaptive Planning, OpenBravo, Groundwork, CentricCRM, Collabnet and Unisys. \u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 While integration between applications seems to be their primary objective, some open source experts believe there are more pressing areas where alliances should form to collaborate on open source challenges.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 \u201cWith open source users, I never hear, \u2018how do I get these open source applications to work together?\u2019\u201d says Bernard Golden, CEO of the consulting firm Navica and who writes a blog about open source for cio.com. \u201cThe more common complaint about open source is that it's difficult to install and configure properly,\u201d he continued. \u201cI think a much more useful alliance would be one that focuses on open source usability and makes the products easier to get into production and reduce the skill level needed to use them successfully.\u201d\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 With that in mind, how do you think companies should collaborate with each other to bolster more efficient uses of open source? If alliances aren\u2019t the answer, what is?I\u2019d be interested to hear your thoughts.