Open-Source-Software (OSS) is a software alternative to the software of traditional software manufacturers in particular for small and medium-sized entities and should therefore be taken into account by these. Furthermore, an always growing number of manufacturing businesses have recently turned to the OSS model. But is OSS suitable for business applications? This question is soon going to be discussed at the fourth “Open Source Meets Business“ congress in Nuremberg. In more than 100 talks given by OSS experts and businesses experienced in the use of OSS this question will be looked upon from several points of views.
Software the source code of which is freely accessible is called open source software. In contrast to the popular opinion, such software is neither automatically available for free nor is it programmed by non-professional programmers. Many professional programmers also work on open source projects. However, it is quite common that the basic versions of OSS may be used for free by private and commercial users. This feature makes OSS interesting in particular to small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) given that many of these can not afford themselves expensive software packages in their starting period or because the business is simply to small. In accordance with the growing volume of a business, several OSS service providers offer appropriate software extensions and adaptations as well as services.
Open Source also benefits from the contributions of its user community. In contrast to the manufacturers of traditional commercial software, the manufacturers of OSS count on the co-operation of its users by introducing their experience and ideas into the development of this kind of software. As a consequence OSS is often leading when it comes to new applications. Therefore, the upcoming congress will also deal with highly innovative software topics such as Cloud Computing and Software as a Service.
Many of the talks to be given will also answer the question of how IT expenditure may be reduced through the use of OSS and which saving potential OSS has in modern data processing centres due to virtualisation and the use of software for system management. In addition, start-ups will present interesting business ideas in connection with OSS.
Among the speakers will be Mark Yolton, Senior Vice President of the SAP Community Networks and John Roberts, chairman and CEO of the Sugar CRM Inc. Michael Müller-Wünsch, CIO of the logistics company Ceva, will give a talk on how he combined Open Source with the IT-Strategy of his company.
This congress is in particular interesting for CIOs, CTOs and IT managers and is going to take place in Nuremberg from January 27th to 29th 2009. Participation is payable. More information on the complete agenda of this event is available from the congress homepage.