Award for Innovation in Open Source Business Management Software - UK
Company: OpusVL Website: http://opusvl.com Address: Drury House, Drury Lane, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 3DE, United Kingdom Phone: 01788 298450
Formed in 1999 for the purpose of implementing professional Free & Open Source software, OpusVL provide solutions to organisations in both the private and public sector with the aim of improving efficiency and strengthening their competitive advantage. Lauren Westley provides us with an overview of the firm and the services it provides. OpusVL are proud to have been selected for the 2016 technology innovator awards with Corporate Magazine, under the category of innovation in Open Source Business Management Software. We have been working hard to help support and grow the Open Source marketplace and we appreciate the recognition of our efforts through this award, especially as our nomination was a surprise. In recent times, the public sector has called for Open source and Open standards to be considered for any software project, as this is free from vendor lock in and the source code is ‘proof read’ by hundreds or even thousands of developers. History shows that the public sector has frequently invested in creating software but once built, has to pay again for licenses, then other departments also have to pay again, and the software and know-how is then owned by an external private company. We have challenged this and supported a ‘custodian’ model for the acquisition of Free and Open Source technology for the public sector, a model which has been adopted in the Code 4 Health project. (link http://www.itproportal.com/2016/06/06/flexibaseand-code4health-the-wider-implications/ The appetite for the benefits driven by implementing Open Source is found across the private sector. In particular, finance, retail, distribution, logistics, hospitality and leisure companies have sought our services. We have found that when customers approach us, they generally have one of 5 challenges: a need for automation, wrestling with disjointed systems and data, struggling to keep up with an evolving industry, existing technology that cannot support their growth, and a desire to reduce operating costs. The digital workspace of our customer is at the core of efficient operations and if it’s working correctly, we believe it shouldn’t even be on your mind.
OpusVL’s innovative approach is built around delivering scalable solutions to enable interoperability and customisation, eliminating cumbersome workarounds and wasted time. We typically meet 80% of software requirements with free, out-of-the-box open source applications that do not have license costs. Therefore the majority of the budget is available to be invested on the remaining user specific requirements. Our engagement approach has evolved over 17 years of project delivery and focuses on a successful outcome for our customer. This is achieved by first clarifying the business need through analysis of our clients business and critical processes, then determining the optimal plan of implementation. Followed by the delivery of appropriate Open Source solutions, concluding with on-boarding the organisation and an orderly change management activity, while ensuring ongoing support and maintenance are catered for. Throughout the process, we manage a technology roadmap, detailing the priority of each section of the project so immediate items are fully specified whilst enabling the delivery team to share the future plans for the client. It is through this mature process that we have been successful in the delivery of innovation and value for our customers which in turn supports their success. Our ethos is based on working in partnership with the customer throughout the life cycle of the project to ensure an appropriate solution, that is tailored around the unique and often complex needs of the clients business. Software is the enabler that helps you carry out your business functions, but it’s the process of implementation itself that is primarily important for the client to realise the benefits. We operate an open culture, which gives our team of designers, technical architects and project
62 l CV Technology Innovator Awards 2016
managers the space to analyse and evaluate scenarios, solve issues and contribute to the wider community as a by-product. Staff regularly engage with and actively contribute to the Open Source communities either at a code level or delivering talks and thought leadership around their specialist skills. Our employees are involved with teaching coding clubs in schools (Link http://blogs.opusvl.com/ opusvl/Boughton-Lee-Junior-School-taste-ofraspberry-pi and regularly share free and Open Source innovations such as govstrap.io which combines the government digital services theme with bootstrap, to enable responsively designed government websites to be deployed in a matter of minutes, therefore eliminating the need to hire costly website designers. (link govstrap.io Looking forward, our clients are demanding more efficient interaction between technology and users. They expect security by default and are becoming more uncomfortable with the feeling of being locked in to a particular vendor. The promise of cloud is becoming laced with the fear that the client is not in control of their data or having their applications “switched off” without warning. Fewer companies are prepared to maintain the use of spreadsheets for every-day data management yet business systems to replace these are required to offer a similar level of flexibility by the modern day business owner. Accessibility of data across any device has become standard in recent times, and the tools now must evolve to provide real-time collaboration to enable increasing efficiency of processing information, and more productive use of resource. This award has further strengthened our leadership in professional Open Source delivery at a time when open technology has become an everyday requirement for almost all organisations.