In 2002 NCC wrote a report for the DTI, showing that much Open Source software was technically mature and ready for mainstream deployment. The adoption of Open Source software is having an increasing impact on the whole ICT industry - users and producers alike. NCC has been working to reduce the risks facing innovators and increase choice within the software market place.
NCC was one of three partners in the establishment of a £4m centre fostering the adoption of open source software. In this role NCC assisted public bodies across Britain in assessing the potential of open source software.
Open Source Labs
NCC brought together several e-Innovation bids to the ODPM which led to the creation of the Open Source Academy. Within the Academy NCC provides a software laboratory for use by public bodies
Open Source Labs press release.
The Open Source Labs have conducted an investigation for Cheshire County Council into the use of open source software in delivering a business application to several hundred users.
Full report on Linux as a base for Citrix thin clients (pdf - 186 Kb)
Midlands Open Source Technology (MOST)
NCC conceived an initiative to trial the deployment of Open Source systems in a number of small community and charitable organisation in the West Midlands. In 2004 funds were granted to the Birmingham Voluntary Services Council to undertake this work with assistance from Open Advantage and NCC. The lessons leant from this work have led to further funds being sought to extend the scope of this work.
Accessibility and Open Source
Ensuring that people have the option to use ICT requires the technology to be accessible, sometimes requiring customisation from the standard products. A key strength of OSS is that it can be customised. This gives technical staff considerable power to incorporate accessibility features. At the same time there may be many versions of the software, requiring some experience to select the best product for a particular situation. The National Computing Centre and Abilitynet are working to establish the Accessible and Open Support Service (AOSS) service which will ensure that the potential benefits of Open Source software are available to all.
More on Acessible and Open Support Service.
Groups Using Media and the Internet (GUMI)
During 2004 and 2005 NCC conducted a project, funded from regional and EU innovation funds, to work with community organisations on the creation of digital video distributed on the Internet. This led to a printed toolkit, a CD and web based tools including video and software products. These are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or from the web site www.ourvideo.org. All products are available either as open source software or under Creative Commons licences as appropriate.
Open source publications from NCC
Over the past few years, NCC has commented on Open Source software in various articles on the NCC Membership website.