VietNamNet Bridge – Software firms now can see great opportunities to earn
money when local authorities have thought of using open source software. HCM
City, for example, plans to spend VND31 billion dong to use open source software
instead of closed source in 2013.
Cooperate or die
Open source software firms have never been living well so far, partially because
of their small scale operation and the principle “every man for himself.” Open
source software firms tasted defeat at bids, because they could not compete with
the big guys in terms of the operation scale, experiences and labor force.
Nguyen Hong Quang, Chair of VFOSSA, the open source software club, has admitted
that though open source software firms are potentials, they remain tiny. VFOSSA
itself still cannot form up an alliance of open source software firms to make a
breakthrough in implementing big scale projects.
Open source software firms have realized that they would not succeed if they
don’t join forces to grab the great opportunity which has come when local
authorities tend to use more open source software.
eCOIT, for example, has cooperated with iWay to upgrade open source software
solutions. Ta Quang Thai, General Director of eCOIT, said it’s time for open
source software firms to connect each other in both terms of technique and
market strategy, not to act separately.
There has been no alliance of open source software firms of the nation, but
alliances have been set up in localities.
Da Nang is an example. Nguyen The Trung, the representative of the Da Nang
software firms association, said the firms in the locality have agreed to hire
foreign consultants to compile the rules for the operation of the open source
software alliance in Da Nang.
The biggest advantage of the establishment of open source software alliances is
that labor force and financial force can be gathered to most satisfy the demand
Once a small firm provides services, it only can satisfy a part of clients’
demand. If troubles occur with information systems, this may happen that the
involved parties would blame each other on the troubles. But once the solutions
and services are provided by alliances (which include solution providers,
infrastructure item providers…), clients would feel more secure, because
enterprises would not be able to “pass the buck.”
Localities ready to spend money on open source software
Open source software always complain that they don’t have many opportunities to
provide services. State management agencies, which could be the greatest
potential clients, only set up the regulations on encouraging to use open source
software, but they themselves don’t intend to use open source software.
However, things have changed a lot. Dr. Nguyen Tuan Hoa from DTT, a technology
group, said HCM City local authorities have decided to use open source software
at the city’s state agencies instead of close source.
HCM City authorities have estimated that the city has to spend VND240 billion a
year on the software licenses for state agencies and VND800 billion on the
licenses for the business and social organizations. This means that nearly one
trillion dong is spent every year on closed source software.
In an effort to cut down expenses on closed source software, the 60 agencies,
departments in the city have been using open source software over the last three
The city’s authorities have decided to spend VND31 billion in 2013 to continue
shifting from using close source to open source software.
Da Nang, Bac Giang, Quang Nam, Bac Ninh, Quang Ninh and Vinh Long authorities
are also considering using open source software, promising more job
opportunities for open source software firms.