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OWF14 - Plenary Session : Patrice Bertrand, President, CNLL


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Patrice Bertrand is the chairman of CNLL, the National Council of Free Software. The CNLL gathers the french clusters of enterprises working in free software. Through these clusters, the CNLL represents more than 300 french businesses specialized in free and open source software. The missions of the CNLL are to facilitate and coordinate the actions of the clusters, to represent the branch towards public bodies, to raise awareness towards this job creating industry.

Patrice Bertrand is among the founders of Smile, a french integrator of open source software, which he served as General Manager up until 2013, notably defining and deploying its open source strategy.

He is the author of numerous essays and articles related to free and open source software, in all its aspects, economic, legal, societal as well as technical.

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OWF14 - Plenary Session : Patrice Bertrand, President, CNLL

  1. 1. Patrice Bertrand - CNLL
  2. 2. 30 = 15 x 2 84: GNU project started 85: Free Software Foundation Free software driven by a craving for freedom 98: Open Source Initiative Open Source software driven by business logic 14: FLOSS thriving everywhere, with huge transformations far beyond IT
  3. 3. 1984: Free Software Business is not the focus It’s about freedom It’s about taking control It’s about sharing And yet…
  4. 4. 1998: Aiming for enterprise IT Open Source: Tone down the freedom bit Put forward superior quality and control Still fostering common software goods Since then, business logic has been a major factor in the making of FLOSS software, taking it to new heights Although the discourses sometimes clashed, the software was the same. And while free & open source thrived everywhere, both aims were being met.
  5. 5. Business models of the 90’s In search of the right business model 1) Develop software, because it’s fun, because there is a need 2) Release it as OSS because it’s good, because it’s more useful this way, because others can help out 3) Try to make a living because otherwise it stops, it’s not useful
  6. 6. The rise of OSS vendors The dominant model for startups in the 00’s Complementing Foundations and Communities Bringing FLOSS to new domains Evolving new business models, some based on a closed-source version And yet… a positive new driving force for FLOSS
  7. 7. « Our product is great because it’s OSS » « Our product is great; OSS is irrelevant » Market share Life of an open source software vendor open closed
  8. 8. Shared R&D Most successful FLOSS business model Companies assign staff to project For each day given, get x100 value They also receive: A say in governance and roadmap Full control of their software dependencies Innovation from other brains Sovereignty & security
  9. 9. Shared R&D The best deal for enterprise IT Cost effective, with strategic benefits attached Plus positive downfalls for all IT But difficult to get started: the key role of strong foundations
  10. 10. Who is driving IT ? A major shift 80’s & 90’s: software vendors software is a revenue, must not be used freely standards will allow competition 00’s & 10’s: larger software consumers software is a cost, the cheaper the better standards are good
  11. 11. Floss keeps on gaining new grounds In the 90s, a better compiler, … Now Floss is leading in almost all hot fields: in servers, in networking, in cloud infrastructures, in web platforms, in content management, in Big Data, in smartphones too, in embedded systems, in development tools and frameworks, … and gaining positions in enterprise application layers and ERPs
  12. 12. The GLOBAL impact of FLOSS Pervading IT, Changing mindsets far beyond IT Prompting major changes on Society and Culture
  13. 13. FLOSS Commoditization Lower entry barriers Innovative startups Web Giants Big Data Shared R&D Open Innovation Open Hardware Creative Commons Open Art Open Movies OpenStreetMap Wikipedia Open Government Open Knowledge Open Access Jobs FabLabs Competitivity Open Data
  14. 14. 15 years of FLOSS public policies Overall, french governments have been receptive with regards to free software Though action has not always matched words First impetus ~2000, with downfalls in terms of awareness A glorious instant in 2005, with Michel Rocard leading the fight against software patents at European Parliament An important beacon in 2012, with the Prime Minister’s memo on FLOSS In 2013, a law that dictates priority to FLOSS (in limited scope) France among the leading nations on FLOSS adoption
  15. 15. 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 Unstoppable ? 4 Md€ 2,5 Md€ CAGR ~45% 1,5 Md€ 140 M€ 450 M€ 60 M€ 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Total FLOSS market in France, 2000-2014. Source: PAC.
  16. 16. FLOSS pure-players in France ~330 players focussed on FLOSS Software vendors, service providers, integrators, consultants, trainers… Healthy and fast growing companies Mostly small and medium sized They concentrate expertise and are enabling the wider FLOSS industry
  17. 17. FLOSS clusters in France
  18. 18. Since 2010, the CNLL CNLL was created by FLOSS clusters in 2010, with 3 missions: Facilitate coordination and joint-ventures between clusters Communicate on the sector, its key role in innovation and its specific concerns Represent the sector’s enterprises towards governmental and public institutions at the national level
  19. 19. The next 15 years Business logic has taken open source to new heights, new territories But the spirit of free software lives on Keeping control over the software that controls our lives has never been more vital After the Snowden revelations, trust in software is broken, only Floss can restore it The Cloud offers great opportunities, but comes with great dangers too. Primarily that of loosing control Shared R&D still has large swathes of IT to conquer