Thursday, 1 November 2007

Open source in BT

Yesterday we had an open source event in BT's auditorium called "Open source - open for business". If you'll excuse the rather corporate-sounding title, it was actually a really cool day. There were elements of preaching to the converted - a large proportion of the audience were already open source advocates - but I'm sure those who were new to the subject would've left the event inspired by how compelling the argument in favour of open source has become.

Want cost benefits? Well, the savings in terms of licensing are dwarfed by the cost of vendor lock-in. This can tip the balance in a business case.

Want support? The communities established around popular open source projects provide richer, quicker support than most vendors.

Want flexibility? How can you get more flexible than being able to adapt the code to your specific needs yourself? And choose the open standards that make complex technology stacks fit together?

Want reassurance that open source is ready for the enterprise? It's already there. Linux, Apache, Firefox, MediaWiki - they're all widespread and best of breed. That's the start of a long list.

So it was great to see the focus being on the best ways to implement open source in BT, rather than on whether it should happen in the first place. And all with the support of the top brass. Brilliant!

There was a pretty good buzz around the stalls (including the Osmosoft stall, which included OLPCs, TiddlyWiki on the iPhone, TiddlyWiki running on the Wii, and TeamTasks), but one of the unexpected highlights was an awesome poster created by our very own Paul Downey. Uploaded to Flickr on Tuesday night, it's already had 33,577 views! Check it out here.

To top it all off, we went for a curry afterwards with the great and the good of the open source world. Followed by a drunken stumble along the South Bank, complete with surprisingly in-focus nighttime photography. All the shots from the day can be seen via the below thumbnail.

BT Open Source Event

1 comment:

FND said...

It's great to see how open BT is to the open-source idea!

Are the presentation slides (especially this one) available to the public?

By the way: Brilliant caption on the OLPC pic - and the TiddlyWiiki splash screen looks very good!