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What stops small Open Source businesses selling to UK Government?

On June 26th Open Source leaders met in London for a gathering called by the Community for Open Interoperability Standards — the UK arm of Open Forum Europe, the European Open Source software advocacy group. At a beautiful venue beside the Museum of London, we were hosted by Worshipful Company of Information Technologists at Barbican station.

Ostensibly intended to determine the organisation’s top political goals following the victory of a majority Conservative Government after the general election last in May, themes covered a number of areas where Open Source has made progress, and should make more.

Time Title Speaker
10:20-10:30 Introduction Chris Francis, Chairman, OFE/COIS, Government Relations, SAP
10:30-10:50 Digital Single Market Common Themes EC/UK Graham Taylor, CEO OFE
10:50-11:10 Local Government IT: Future Directions John Jackson, Assistant Director (ICT) Camden Council ICT
11:10-11:30 Small and medium enterprise role in Government IT Sam Tuke, Marketing Manager, Collabora
11:30-11:50 Education IT: Future Directions Matthew Dovey, Principal Consultant, Jisc, Chair, EGI Council/Executive Board
11:50-12:10 The role of CCS in Open IT Standards Richard Archer, Deputy Chairman, OFE/COIS, CEO Bramble Hub
12:10-13:00 Round Table: Conclusions/Future Plans of OFE/COIS Chris Francis, Chairman, OFE/COIS, Government Relations, SAP

I spoke mid-morning, identifying hurdles currently preventing small and medium enterprise successfully selling to the British Government, highlighting opportunities presented by these challenges, using my experience of marketing LibreOffice products at Collabora Productivity as an example.

I concluded that by working together we can overcome some of the most serious barriers to UK public sector contracts, such as the current government’s “cloud-first” strategy, and buyers continued preference for solutions from incumbent ventures. You can find my slides below.

My presentation on SMEs role in UK Government

My presentation on SMEs role in UK Government


So, what do you think ?