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IT News Thread, Open source can save schools billions in Other News; Originally Posted by spannerman2 The way I think FOSS can help, even in a managed outsource model (which of course ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    The way I think FOSS can help, even in a managed outsource model (which of course FOSS firms like us would benefit from) is on pricing to schools.
    I am all in favour of reducing cost & accept the argument that FOSS might help to some degree, but I have yet to see this materialise under BSF. Where have you (and other FOSS firms) been successful in getting involved in BSF so far?

    As an aside, you may successfully argue the case for FOSS on a site like this, but winning the argument in Local Authorities along with their consultants and suppliers (mostly Microsoft partners) is a different matter. I suspect many LAs will consider FOSS as risky (a view expressed by BECTA in the past), and their advisors & BSF partners will be happy to support that view as many have a vested interest in sticking with Microsoft or Apple.

    Last but not least, the Government prescribed bidding process for BSF takes most of the decision taking responsibility out of schools, and sadly ICT support staff in schools earmarked for BSF have very little influence in the design decisions for the ICT managed service.

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    Freedom and Control

    very true, we are excluded from BSF, as are you folk.

    Unfortunately BSF is run as a cartel (allegedly) whereby the chief contractors (building) contract in transparent tenders via the procurement frameworks but then basically sub-contract ICT to their mates.
    As we in FOSS tend to be no-one's 'mates' we don't get a look in.

    But rather than spin off too much at a tangent, the point you illustrate is the sheer powerlessness of the ability to change school ICT within the current model.

    Proprietary software lock in (helped by over-genarous gov grants earlier on and latterly extreme edu-discounts) + the G-Cloud + BSF closed shops, means that self-determination for schools is all but gone.

    I am advocating FOSS adoption as the last gasp to wrest back some freedom and control of your futures before that door slams so hard that you all might as well pack up get another job.

    I'm not even saying that FOSS is so marvelous (judged purely as software that does stuff) it's just that no-one controls it and it's free.

    I'm hoping that the point that is coming over is that FOSS evangelists like myself and the company for whom I work, whilst loving our software, do not have an unrealistic view of it..what we are passionate about is the freedom for self-determination.

    That's why we get so steamed up when we see the likes of Capita.Sims with 80% of the MIS market mandating the use of Windows Servers and refusing to release their API's and so on.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    That's why we get so steamed up when we see the likes of Capita.Sims with 80% of the MIS market mandating the use of Windows Servers and refusing to release their API's and so on.

    John
    you cant really blame capita for wanting to make money that is the reason they exist and it does make sense to have a standard mis system across an authority. It also makes it a lot easier to test (not sure capita do any testing) systems if they run on a single platform environment as you dont have to either rely on third parties or test it under windows/ubunto/osx/redhat/suse and so on. That said sims has to be one of the worst bits of software its been my misfortune to come across.

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    Smile

    the point precisely,

    as you say, a truly dreadful piece of software (pieces of .netted incompatible programs) with an effective monopoly. When they have 100% (in the name of compatibility and with the help of G-Cloud) there will be no alternative at all. They can charge whomsover they want whatsoever they want

    Pure unadulterated Soviet_Capitalism what an oxymoron to conjure with!



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