Open Source engages Government at Brighton event

On Tuesday representatives of Government and the third sector will engage with Open Source service organisations on the subject of business and the cloud. Eleven business will present benefits of Open Source business solutions to decision makers including John Jackson, Camden Council CIO, Chris Farthing of the British Chamber of Commerce, and Tariq Rashid of the Cabinet Office. 17 Sessions over two days make up the programme, hosted by Sussex Cricket Club. Consultants and public sector workers may register for free on the programme summary website.

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At 15.30 Tim Eyles from Collabora Productivity will present the strategic and cost-saving benefits of deploying LibreOffice within enterprise organisations.

Presentation abstract

Although Open Source software continues to take server marketshare by storm cross-sector, user-facing productivity applications remain largely closed. Writing reports, calculating spreadsheet figures, and presenting slideshows are all core business activities that are dominated by a single software vendor and a single software product.

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Does it have to be like this? LibreOffice (and its forebear OpenOffice) is the trusted productivity suite of more than 80 million people. From the French Gendarmerie, to the City Administration of Munich, to the Universities of Brazil, public administrations have embraced Open Source desktop productivity. In the process they’ve benefitted from interoperability between more than one hundred document formats – the result of a cumulative development process which has extended file support over 29 years. Other significant factors for choosing LibreOffice have been its ease of integration with other Open and proprietary applications, and huge savings in license costs and customisation. LibreOffice owes these advantages to it’s Open Source origins.

A recent development has expanded the potential userbase to new quarters however. For the first time, a supported enterprise build of LibreOffice is available for business-critical environments and very large-scale demployments. LibreOffice-from-Collabora is LibreOffice stress-tested, enterprise-hardened, with business support to match. It ships with deployment tools designed for easy installation and system manage across thousands of Windows, Mac, and Linux workstations. 3 Years of support patches sustain long term stability and security, and test and integrate newer features which would otherwise be unavailable. Software support contracts provide fixed cost code support with standard response Service Level Agreements.

To participate in the full presentation register to attend “Open Source, the Cloud and your Business” at the link above. Places limited.

Participating organisations

British Open Source service providers
  • Collabora
  • Omnis Systems
  • Fastnet
  • Synchro Media
European Open Source service providers
  • SecurePass
  • Collax
  • Zarafa
Other Open Source service providers
  • Virtual bridges (USA)
  • Catalyst (New Zealand)
British third sector
  • Open Source Consortium
  • Open Data Institute
  • Sussex Enterprise
  • Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce
British public sector
  • Camden Council
  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Sussex Innovation Centre

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Why LibreOffice Certification matters

The new certification programme, announced on Wednesday by the Document Foundation (TDF), for professionals who train and migrate to LibreOffice as a service, is a watermark for the growth and development of businesses in the Open Source productivity ecosystem. Thirteen newly qualified individuals form the basis of the programme, representing six different companies and six independents.

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Italo Vignoli – Certification Committee Chairman

The need for new types of certification reflects the growth and maturation of businesses supporting LibreOffice, as well as the leadership of the Document Foundation and its readiness to meet that need. Over the last two years The Document Foundation have granted certification to 45 software development engineers. Graduates include employees of leading Open Source multi-nationals Red Hat, SUSE, and Ericsson.

As a non-profit organisation with charitable status, The Foundation provides a degree independence and authority which corporate bodies can never achieve. With its three-tier management structure, TDF is well suited to non-partisan setting of standards and assessment of certificate applicants. Yet because many leading LibreOffice service providers are also board members, the foundation is uniquely positioned to assay best practice and learning resources, and foster cooperation between companies which may otherwise be marketplace competitors.

“In fact, LibreOffice Certification is the first of this kind to be managed by a community based Free Software project, as all other certifications in the open source environment are managed by a company” — Italo Vignoli, Certification Committee Chairman

The peer-to-peer certification process covers a broad range of themes from “certification theory” to “growth potential”. Some subjects are special to the application’s Open Source roots, including “basic knowledge and understanding of Free Software communities”, and “Free Software licenses”. Certification both incentivises professional learning, and provides a public directory of qualified experts for those seeking services related to LibreOffice.

Four of the six companies with newly qualified staff are Collabora partners, and 13 of 45 engineers already certified are members of our team. With more certified staff than any other company, we’re delighted to be part of the training and development of LibreOffice experts, and look forward to promoting certification to our international network of educators and integrators.

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