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JDayBrazil2014Let me tell you about some exciting developments in Brazil that I learned this past week while participating in JoomlaDay Brazil.

First of all I need to say this was a very well-run event and the community was so warm and welcoming. I really felt comfortable and appreciate the patience of those that worked hard to understand my very limited Portuguese language skills. I met some wonderful new friends, and experienced many another sides of the Brazilian culture. The presentation I gave on behalf of the Joomla Resources Directory (JRD) was about “More Joomla, More Business and More Friends”. This was intended to reinforce the JRD “Connect and Do More” campaign and the mantra for Joomla 3.3 release of “Do More… With Joomla!”. These all work together to offer so many opportunities for members of the Joomla community both personally and professionally. I am inspired by how Brazil is making this very idea a reality.

Most of the recent activity I am going to share has come out of the capital city of Brasilia but by no means does it stop there. These initiatives below involve three distinct areas of Government, Education and Commercial enterprise. However, I do not see this momentum stopping and these are merely gateways for a bright future in South America for Joomla!

It was interesting to me that the Brazilian Military has chosen Joomla as the default platform for all of it's internal web sites. Right now this is a collection of over 300 web portals used for communications between various branches and beyond. They have found Joomla to be the most secure open source platform for their purposes... guess what... they are still using 1.5 for most of their sites. This goes to show that best practices and careful security planning does work and this is something that is worthy to note. I saw a presentation from one of the lead systems engineers where he showed how other sites had been disrupted or hacked by major vulnerabilities over the past few years while they were able to maintain a maximum secure environment.

To this end on security there was also an interesting presentation by the folks at www.esecurity.com.br. The presentation showed the entire audience how a crafty hacker is able to get right to the root of a server in a way that would allow access to EVERYTHING on it. This security team seems to be way ahead of the curve for security solutions that will protect many of the initiatives taking off for Joomla in Brazil these days.

The Ministry of Education has many web sites built in Joomla and Plone. A recent initiative is working towards migrating Plone sites to Joomla and making Joomla the default platform for this area of Government as well as other municipal and government agencies. There is a team that built a template and distribution platform for making it easy for these agencies to deploy in Joomla. There are also several initiatives for creating training programs to deploy at a variety of levels within the education system. The great part about this distribution is that it is built for J3.3 and J2.5 and is designed with forward thinking of compatibility for upgrades and ongoing maintenance.

The Banco de Brasil (Bank of Brazil) which is one of the largest banks in Brazil and South America, with over 112,000 employees, has begun deploying not only an extensive intranet with many sites in Joomla but a companywide Joomla specific training program for 40 strategic departments within their organization. This program will focus on education and infrastructure for these departments to deploy Joomla sites for their internal communications and a variety of campaigns and strategic initiatives. What this means is they are planning for deployment of hundreds and perhaps thousands of new sites in the coming years.

One goal I had on this trip was to introduce the JRD as a way to stimulate commerce, partnerships and support resources for end users of the Joomla CMS. What that means is that first we need to get as many listings as possible in the directory so that it can be the go to place for folks looking for professional help and service for their Joomla sites. When I learned that there is a Spanish Joomla User Group with over 114, 000 members I was surprised and excited about the possibilities for connecting with this group of Joomla enthusiasts and professional service providers. By the way this group is out of Spain vs Mexico so there is even more of Latin America that can be reached out to. Leaders like Luis Méndez as well and several others that are major contributors to Spanish and Brazilian translations share this enthusiasm and are excited about helping us connect communities with the Joomla Resources Directory. As a direct result of Joomla Day Brazil we hope to form a translation group within the JRD team to help us translate parts of the JRD and work as a liaison between the Joomla translation team and the JRD. I see this as an incredible bridge we can build between North and South America. Ongoing translations will further open the door for various groups, users and cultures to foster more business and collaboration in the Joomla ecosystem. This will mean broader use, better software and more partnerships across borders.

It is incredibly exciting to see such momentum and transformation in this area of the world towards a greater Joomla adoption and use in Commerce, Education and Government. I am humbled to be part of this and hope I can make a meaningful contribution to building and perhaps inspire others to build bridges between commerce and culture with and for Joomla!