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OSEPA Open Source Policy Statement

Sambruk Collaboration Framework

During Sambruks workshop in June 2010 the second session was about "New approaches for custom FOSS development- new business models required". Three cases were represented showing development of new e-services solutions, carried out by small, local systems developers. A group of municipalities collaborate, share the costs of the project and exchange experiences.

During the breakout the participants discussed experiences during development phase and some of the challenges for the future were discussed; such as how to proceed from development phase, further development, maintenance, more users and other suppliers.

During the workshop the third session presented "Developing a framework for open/shared e-services in the public sector" with results from the R&D project BOSSANOVA.

Sambruk Collaboration Framework

The purpose of this R&D projects, which is termed BOSSANOVA (Business Models for Open Source Software New Opportunities for Customers and suppliers), was to:

  • Develop support for the use of open-source software (OSS) in the Swedish public sector and
  • Theoreticaly explore business models for OSS in the public sector from both a customer and supplier perspective.

The project also contribute to improved market conditions and business opportunities for suppliers, increased competition and procurement competence in the area of OSS.

The project was based on previous studies of VINNOVA-funded projects in Sambruk, which indicated a need for support for the use of OSS in the public sector.

An initial questionnaire survey of IT managers in the public sector confirmed this need and the result that also confirmed the initial mapping of the OSS business situation in Sweden has previously been carried out.

Effects and results

Results from the project are achieved in accordance with the project plan:

  • A proposal of a framework for business models and practices for the acquisition, named Sambruk Collaboration Framework (SCF), which introduced development and management of OSS in the association Sambruk. The framework is to be used on the customer side in the public sector (mainly municipalities) and their suppliers.
  • Scientific publications have been published at conferences, and as book chapters, as well as planned journal contributions, and a doctoral thesis which is planned to be defended publicly in 2012.
  • Knowledge exchange regarding content of the project has been going on between universities, municipalities, counties, state agencies and companies in the ICT sector, particularly on Sambruk’s fall and spring conferences, that brings together the beforementioned stakeholders to 2-3 days of knowledge and experience exchanges. In addition, BOSSANOVA members have participated at scientific conferences, contributed to software development, attended supplier meetings and held courses for students.
  • The project has contributed to increased opportunities for the Swedish software industry to provide professional development and regional development by promoting greater diversity of providers in ICT development for the public sector.
  • The project has deepened and formalized both Nordic and European cooperation in the field of OSS in the public sector. Within the Nordic countries, the exchange took place mainly in Denmark (softwareborsen.dk) and Norway (www.friprog.no and delingsbazaren.no). Within Europe, the project OSEPA, OSS usage by the European Public Administration, started with Sambruk as one of twelve partners in eleven countries.

Planning and implementation

The project was conducted by a consortium consisting of:

  • Association Sambruk (with about 90 member municipalities), where the interaction has been especially with the board, executive management, and ongoing projects.
  • SALAR , which at the start of the project ran the software archive Programverket and the Open Sweden, a competence center for OSS in the public sector.
  • Researchers in Informatics, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics at Linkoping University (Center for Applied Management in small and medium-sized enterprises , CAM, and the research network VITS).

Project members are researchers at Linkoping University, IT strategists at SALAR (during the project's initial phases), Sambruk’s executive officer and project coordinators. The project have conducted both surveys and case studies.

Two surveys were conducted initially in the project. One was coordinated by the authority Verva (discontinued in 2008) regarding mapping of the usage OSS among governmental organizations. The other survey was coordinated by SKL and mapped the use of OSS among municipalities and local authorities.

The project is a continuation of previously established cooperation through Sambruk's R & D activities (2005-2008) and has been implemented in coordination with the project activity models for e-services in the interplay between state and local government.

2nd OSEPA Conference

Sambruk Collaboration Framework (SCF) consists of regulations and agreements to cover important phases of collaborative development. The framework regulates different aspects of development, such as copyright, the type of material being developed, the usage and management of the developed material. The framework also consists of agreements between different parties involved in the acquisition, development, and management of the material.

The objective is to suggest new business models and supporting arrangements for open source software in the public sector, specifically for municipalities. Methodologically, this study was carried out as a practical inquiry. Results from the initial diagnosis (longitudinal case studies 2005-2008 in a Swedish network of 80 collaborating municipalities, and a survey 2008 to all Swedish national and local authorities) indicated that Swedish municipalities do not use OSS to a large extent for several reasons, and that experience sharing and a supporting framework were requested.

As a solution a semi-open business model framework was suggested. The framework was developed and implemented in the form of action research. Evaluation of this implementation indicated two major conclusions.

First, it was concluded that a semi-open source business model could strengthen the community, in so motto that the user-driven innovative solutions stay under control of the user organization. This prevents that the customer’s own development efforts in collaborative projects unintentionally are transferred to supplier companies, and need to be re-purchased in the form of packaged solutions, a phenomena that was observed in several previously studied cases.

Second, the semi-open source business model can work only if both customer-side and supplier-side can take advantage. An open attitude to enhance fulfilment of the supplier’s drivers, such as commercialization opportunities, is needed from the customer side. Otherwise important knowledge contributions from suppliers may be limited.

Welcome and listen to this subject during the conference under the topic:

SCF – ”Sambruk Collaboration Framework” - a collaborative framework for municipalities. Presentation, experiences and adaptation.

Thomas Rosenfall
PhD candidate in Industrial Marketing
Linkopings universitet IEI
Department of Management and Engineering

1.VINNOVA is Sweden’s Innovation Agency, http://www.vinnova.se/en/
2. The Swedish Association of Local authorities and regions. In Swedish: Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting, SKL, http://english.skl.se/.
3. In Swedish: Centrum for Affarsutveckling i Mindre foretag, www.cam.liu.se.