Group aims to promote Open Source software in Ireland

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1 April 2005 | 0

The group has been evolving since ICT Expo in 2003 when the founding members met a number of people who expressed an interest in having a business association to create awareness and share experiences of various aspects of OSS in Ireland.

‘Previously we had been involved in an effort to run a marketing special interest group under the Irish Linux Users’ Group (ILUG), but the idea of having commercial companies involved did not sit well with some ILUG members so we decided to set up a separate but hopefully complementary effort,’ explains OpenApp’s Mel McIntyre, a founding member and the current chair of the group.

The main aim of OpenIreland is to ‘support, broaden and accelerate the take-up of Open Source Software (OSS) by business and the public sector in Ireland’.  The group is hoping to achieve this objective by creating awareness of winning business models and success stories to increase user and developer confidence in OSS.

 

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The initial participants in OpenIreland include representative from Beaumont Hospital, EDO Software, Sybernet, Spokesoft, LGCSB, IBM, OpenApp, MandrakeSoft Ireland, Rissaris and Sabeo. Apart from McIntyre, Barry Flanagan of EDO Software and Brian Farrell of Securelinx are directors of the group. ‘We would like to attract a balanced membership of vendors of OSS related products and services and users or potential users—people who see the value and want to understand how to migrate to and support OSS installations,’ says McIntyre.

To cover expenses, the group is charging EUR* 50 for individual membership, EUR*250 for companies and EUR*1,000 for larger systems integrators and product companies. OpenIreland is also hoping  to attract sponsors for certain initiatives, including the ICT Expo in April and an e-government event in June.

OpenIreland has partnered with OpenForum Europe, a London/Brussels based advocacy group, which aims to strengthen the perception and credibility of the Open Source offer, particularly within Government and commercial organisations (www.openforumeurope.org). ‘Through this we gain access to the wider European initiatives, some of which are very active at present,’ says McIntyre.

OpenIreland can be contacted by mailing info (at) openireland.com or mel.macintyre (at) openapp.biz.More details and the minutes of previous meetings are available at www.openireland.com.

22/03/04

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