From the NHS to one man bands Open Source software makes an impact

The diversity of compelling ICT solutions using Open Source software now has a significant presence in the West Midlands region, UK.Some of the cutting edge ICT solution success stories have been brought about by more than 1000 regional ICT businesses who have participated in the free services: consultancy; training and impartial advice offered by OpenAdvantage.

Other small ICT companies, building on their own experience and preference, have seized opportunities and developed solutions and markets from leveraging a powerful collection of programming languages and tools which take advantage of the power, flexibility, low cost, and exciting possibilities of Open Source.

The recognition that the only significant costs are 'time' and that Open Source technologies have reached a level of maturity and popularity has meant that a developer with a good idea for an Internet application or, robust and secure IT systems, has limitless scope for innovation and success.To mark the rise in the use of Open Source software, OpenAdvantage is holding the Open Source showcase on the 20 June 2007.

It is a free event and delegates will hear the rationale and real-life experiences from a number of local businesses, a charity and organisations who have identified Open Source as a key enabler of improving productivity and communications with web technologies and collaboration tools: rapid website content management; wikis; blogs; forums; virtual learning; Internet telephony; Linux on the desktop, plus more.

Scott Thompson, Director of OpenAdvantage comments “We want as many people as possible to benefit from being involved with Open Source and, from understanding the real-life experiences of local firms who can deliver ICT solutions to all firms that provide ease of use, adaptable and affordable ICT - has to be celebrated. We decided by holding a showcase anyone with an interest in finding out more will be inspired and can only realise the advantages and how to improve their business performance”.

Peter King of SiteDesign in Oldbury, one of the presenters, adds “As a web site design company we became interested in Open Source software a while ago. OpenAdvantage demonstrated ways of using various open source systems within our company and this has been implemented for over 12 months. The benefits have been time saving, zero down time on our network, huge cost savings and productivity improvements. Since we have seen the benefits this offers businesses, we have also been providing the same infrastructure to our clients, which has created excellent customer satisfaction and improved our profitability. We see open source systems not just as a license cost saving, but as a very stable business model”.

Jake Stride of Senokian Solutions, Coventry states “Senokian's 'Enterprise Groupware System' integrates Project Management, Accounting, e-marketing and has a fully automated web-based support system. It's used by companies and organisations worldwide to streamline their business and improve productivity and profitability. From the NHS through to one man bands in the Midlands the number of users of the system is increasing on a daily basis, as people download the software free of charge from the Internet