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The importance of open source as a business driver

What is your sentiment regarding businesses that are currently migrating from a Linux platform to Microsoft based products?
Each Businees has value propositions that should be matched by the solution they choose

Do you foresee a future of open source becoming a valuable enterprise?
Yes, we had lift-off (solid fuel rockets can’t be switch off). Gartners, Burtons, ect differs on how much, but there will be a lot of linux around.

Why did Aptronics acquire a major stake in Ubusha Technologies?
Ubusha Technologies is now almost 2 years old and we made it clear when we started we want to to grow the BEE shareholding to 51%.
We were looking fr a company sharing the same passion for quality of service and that is compatible with our management style and culture. We were fortunate to have 4 companies interested in taking up the shares in Ubusha Aptronics was interested in our experience and positioning in the Open Source space as well as our services strategy and architecture experience in large corporates. In return it is very handy to have a Hardware and Software vendor as well as an implementor and support company in the group. It allows for end to end solutions.

Can open source offer an ideal service for store management and back office systems?
Open source is like a framework you subscribe to. It should be flexible, not limiting you to specific solutions and allow you to gain benefits from the best solutions for your orginizations needs As solutions mature and become commodity it can be encorporated in a open source framework reducing cost and risk e.g. Web server platforms, Proxy servers, Databases and on the productivity suite side Office suites, web browsers and email clients.
If this option is adopted, it is also important to make sure that tools selected to supprt this environment is selected propporly e.g the enterprize management tools should be capable of managing Linux servers and desktops (application distribution, patch management, monitoring, remote control, policy and access management). Application selection also need to favour applications that can run cross platform (wIndows/Linux/Unix) to allow for flexibility is Server and desktop choice
It is also important to note that this open source framework should protect strategic long term decitions around proprietary software e.g an integrated mail solution

Why does open source software offer a high cost of support for a business?
Windows cost of support was initialy higher initialy that an Dos based equivalent – it is aquestion of critical mass for skills and demand is driving that hard at the moment. Support cost might be higher because of more expensive skills at the moment but it will equilize. Organization considering the move to open source should allow for re-skilling time and cost.
In general we see the cost of support after skills development to be less than or at worst equil to the proprietary counterpart. This can be typically motivated by better quality code, simpler but customer driven functions, less security problems and patches needed and lower hardware platform needs.

Do companies need to have a major in-house support to be able to use Linux for their business?
There are various options, Training is available, outsource/co-source models, on the project training with a fase out strategy, new skills entering the market Our S&A methodology caters for assesing the customer needs up front and cater for the required changes in the orginization

What are some of the common complaints for open source users?
Lack of Enterprize methodologies and Experience. Resitence to change – new way of doing things Not all open source software is good and will mature – the right open source software should be adopted (mature)

What are the implications for Linux in SA in this regard?
There are a lot of major vendors throwing some serious wait behind Linux to make it enterprize ready e.g Novell, HP, IBM just to mention a few. We have a team of people at Ubusha and Apronics that address the need of a typical Enterprize with a methodology : S&A, SD, SS

What is Linux SA doing to remedy this potential huge loss in business?
9. Are the initial cheaper set-up fees of Linux justification enough to make the support thereof very difficult to be done in-house? It is more than just that: Money saved is used to build other eficiencies and staff new project thus creating jobs In general more secure, less bugs and need for pathes Customer driven features Flexible, can change and add to Better and more stable code Choice and not lockin Licencing model = subscrition Fast turnaround time More influense on features needed 10. What is the general ratio among businesses that use open-source vs. businesses that use Windows? Most business has Linux/OSS e.g. Apache, Squid, Firefox, Opera Very few SA bluechip cmps are NOT looking

11. What are the advantages of using Linux in a business?

Skills empowerment in the workplace

1. What does the internship programme offered by Aptronics entail? 2. How does this internship programme prepare students for the IT industry? 3. How long is the programme and how does it work? 4. How do you choose your interns? 5. What do you think jobseekers look for in an IT company? 6. How does Aptronics benefit from the internship programme? 7. Why is skills development so beneficial to an organisation? 8. What methods o you employ to further educate your staff? 9. To what degree do you involve employees in decisions relating to their further education and/or skills development?