Many companies are interested in open source software, both technologically and economically, but the path to successful adoption is not trivial. The open source paradigm involves new licensing schemes and requires clear economic choices to be made. Moreover, good practices and tools used in the open source ecosystem can bring benefits to all ICT companies. Yet, these good practices and tools must be identified, assessed and adopted.
The project aims at supporting businesses according to their specific needs:
- Software Editors: Free software involves specific business models, as it creates a distinction between primary development activities and value-added activities, such as support and advanced functionalities.
- Software services companies: Free software can be incorporated into specific solutions, providing a strong competitive advantage. Still, help is needed in selecting the appropriate software components, and, where appropriate, taking into account software quality, trust issues, traceability of licenses and possible legal risks.
- End-users: Free software is important for companies and administrations for various, and even strategic, tasks.
The PALLaVI portal serves as a proof-of-concept of a forge sized to the needs of typical SMEs. The study conducted for the selection of the forge, in which a methodology was defined for comparing several open source alternatives, has aroused significant interest. Based on this experience, several partners have decided to implement a forge on their premises, taking advantage of the collaborative tools and methods developed by the open source communities. The CELLaVI website is now hosted on the forge wiki.
The operational aspects of PALLAVI are backed by general purpose open source expertise, focused mainly on infrastructures and aligned with local industry needs, tackling virtualisation techniques and open source cloud middleware in particular.
The project activities also include progress on training aspects and on legal expertise, managed by MULTITEL and FUNDP/CRID respectively. With regard to exploitation of the research results, specific advice has been provided to several partners and local companies.
Two significant local events have been co-organised: Open the Source (1st and 2nd edition). There were also other contributions to local events in the informal communities that constitutes the open source ecosystem, such as “Les jeudis du libre”. In order to benchmark against other communities, CETIC attends and present to the “Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre”
Added value for Business
The project benefits directly to local companies. There are three main impacts:
- While the forge PALLaVI is a mean for hosting open source software, it is also a tool that inspires and is adopted by companies in order to enhance their development and collaboration processes.
- CELLaVI helps companies questioning the potential benefits of free software by providing support specific areas:
- Economic: choice of business model including “hybrid” models;
- Technical: choice of software components, application architecture;
- Legal: choice and combination of licenses; several workshops have been organized by CRIDS in that respect.
- By taking into account emerging fields, such as open hardware or automated software analysis, CELLaVI provides a decisive advantage for companies associated with the initiative: it helps them remain at the leading edge of development in the area of open source software.