April 2008

Two reports issued this week provide very different numbers regarding the adoption of open source. IDC proclaims that "the economic slowdown in the United States may actually boost demand for open source services. If organizations adopt more open source software as part of a strategy to reduce software costs, the demand for related services should increase". The US-based survey reports that "almost 60% of the survey respondents said their company's spending on open source increased in 2007". This is in stark contrast to Statistics Canada's findings that "17% of private sector firms reported using open source software" and "3% of private firms and 13% of public organizations reported customizing open source software".

In Canada's case, I'm reminded of the statement made by Waugh Partners regarding Australia's adoption of open source: "we knew that our country has produced some of the world's most influential Open Source innovators and projects. We knew that clever, home-grown Open Source companies were succeeding in local and export markets. But we didn't have the numbers.

One of the reasons we launched the Open Source Business Resource was to communicate the open source innovation taking place in Canada. This month's Lead Projects section introduces the Open Source for Ontario Companies inventory. The Conference Report highlights the key messages from the first two presentations in the Technology Innovation Management (TIM) Lecture Series which have attracted standing room only crowds and hallroom discussions long after the presentation has finished.

The articles this month revolve around the theme of communications. Jim Van Megellen from the asterisk community provides practical advice for implementing a technical solution that meets a specific business need. Edy Ferreira from Carleton University discusses research into open hardware business models and Minjeong Kim from Hawaii Pacific University discusses research into who is using Creative Commons licenses and for what purpose. Gerald from the VoIP (voice over IP) community answers the question "where is the promised convergence?" and discovers that existing technology is not the only piece of the convergence puzzle. You'll also find dozens of upcoming events and both of the recently published reports are well worth downloading and reading. As always, we look forward to your feedback.

Dru Lavigne


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