At least one open source supplier has made it onto Becta’s eagerly anticipated framework covering the supply of software licences to the education sector.
Sirius Corporation has announced it is one of twelve suppliers to have successfully tendered for Becta's new Software for Educational Institutions Framework agreement, marking a watershed moment for the Linux community.
21 firms were invited to tender for the approved catalogue, which is being run in conjunction with OGCbuying.solutions and is worth £80m over four years (CRN, 1 August). It was thought LinuxIT and Novell were among the other open source hopefuls and Becta is expected to reveal the full line-up later today.
Sirius claimed its inclusion in the framework is a “tacit acknowledgment” by the UK government that open source companies can compete on a level playing field for public sector business.
Tom Callway, marketing director at Sirius, claimed the move would encourage school children to have a less myopic view of software.
He told CRN: “One of the most important areas for open source to make headway in schools is around virtual learning environments.
“A lot of schools have not been able to use [free-to-use virtual learning environment] Moodle as they did not feel comfortable buying outside the Becta framework. Now someone can support Moodle for them.”
Peter Dawes-Huish, chief executive of LinuxIT, revealed his firm had not pursued the framework to its final conclusion because he did not find it attractive as a commercial proposition.
But he added: “We are pleased to see that at least one open source company is involved in this.”
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