I have over forty years of experience in the information industry, mostly in the private sector in both the USA and Europe. However my experience of public services work gained over the last eight years is that there are significant cultural and organisational differences between the public and private sectors which are not always well understood.
My experience of working with OBA is that they are both willing and eager to understand and learn about the differences to ensure that they can deliver what is actually needed by the client. Based on my experience I would strongly recommend their services for other public service projects.
David Stroll, Director, One-Sigma
The combination of immense financial pressures and the opportunity created by enterprise-grade open source software offers local government the biggest opportunity in decades to re-engineer the work-processes and applications that drive them.
OBA is positioned at the forefront of this effort. We not only develop custom application such as the Business Process Workbench built for One-Sigma, we also deploy off-the-shelf open source applications, integrate them with existing systems to minimise disruption, and train inhouse IT staff so that they can continue to support and develop the systems themselves.
Our work includes successful delivery at county councils, local service departments like the West Midlands Fire Service, quasi-goverment organisations like Relate and large government projects completed in conjunction with multi-national system integrators.
OBA has believed since its inception that open source HAS TO ADOPTED as a matter of priority across UK government deprtments wherever possible. The flexibility, speed of delivery, low cost and standards-driven nature of open source make this an imperative that should be considered in every local government IT procurement.
Critical success factors
1. Choose the right partner. Someone that has done it before and understands how to make open source work in your environment.
2. Success breeds success. So, select a project that is most appropriate technically and 'politically' in your department to give the project the biggest chance of success.
3. Examples of projects that typically have the potential for maximum benefit in an organisation include Reporting and Analysis, Custom Application development, CRM and Document Management. These can often be deployed without changing existing core systems and there are well established products in the open source market.
4. Make sure that the right business sponsor is involved. IT is not just about technology. The organisation must see the benefit of the project whether it is done with open source or not.
5. Make the effort to reassure people about the strength in security and support that is part of open source. OBA can help bringing in legal and security expertise if necessary.
OBA will be presenting a MasterClass and Q&A session at the Local Goverment Procurement Event on 18 May in London. Please join us there to speak directly to some of our customers and to have a more detailed discussion of your specific needs and how open source can help you reduce IT costs by at least 40%.