Breaking vendor lock-in, bit by bit
The Open Source Conference 2013 has been an excellent opportunity for Omnis Systems, its partners and the Public Sector delegates to exchange ideas about the future of Open Source in local and central Government institutions.
Many delegates had great experience in using Open Source based solutions while others came to learn more about it but at the end they all found that Open Source is the way forward. By removing proprietary software a large amount of resources will be available to the Public Sector: therefore enabling them to lower their costs while concentrating on providing better services.
Delegates had the opportunity, during the event, to gain a better understanding of the time and investment required to take an Open Source “Free” product and make it “Enterprise Ready”, supportable and usable in commerce and industry. This insight included further detail on how those deploying these solutions of the future can save time and money, but retain or even improve the features and performance for their users.
Those solutions, called Commercial Open Source or Open Core, bring the flexibility and the "openness" of the community supported projects but with the additional benefit of being Enterprise ready, including all the business features required. They are supported and updated by stable and reliable commercial companies that help in removing the pain and the risks that some may see in community Open Source.
Commercial Open Source vendors may ask for a maintenance fee to provide you with the enterprise features and support which is generally a fraction of the cost that you'll have to incur with proprietary software or to develop and maintain a bespoke solution in house. This is because with Open Source products, you remove the need to pay the huge licensing fees seen with most proprietary software vendors. Where organisations have their own in-house developers they were able to see how they could utilise their expertise in integrating the solutions to their systems, avoiding the need to “re-invent the wheel”.
Many delegates discovered that there are strong alternatives to the proprietary solutions they are using and that they could leverage large savings by:
- Virtualising both Windows and Linux desktops with Virtual Bridges VERDE
- Replacing MS Exchange, Lotus Notes and similar with Zarafa
- Integrate all their data sources, applications, Internet and Intranet portals with Entando
- Simplifying Linux adoption for departments and Councils with Collax
- Backup data and implement multiplatform disaster recovery with SEP
Several of the above mentioned solutions are available as both free community solutions or as Enterprise, ready to use and supported packages. On-site installation, fully managed service and G-Cloud options are available.