Government Open Source Software Collaboratives debated at GOSCON

On October 22, government and private industry experts will debate the issues and opportunities presented by collaborative software development models at the Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) Portland, Oregon. The distinguished panelists have direct experience with successful public/private consortiums based on the open source software model in which developers as well as business and technical users collaborate to create new applications while sharing both the costs and the benefits.

The advantages to moving to an open source model for government software would not just be lower costs and better knowledge sharing across the public sector; it might also take us closer to the level of access, transparency and flexibility that the public is starting to demand from its governments, explains Brian Belhendorf, CollabNet founder and Mozilla board director. Software development is at its core a collaborative process – collaborative between developers, even those working on different projects, and collaborative between developers and users. “The big deal about the Open Source model is that it recognizes this fact and makes it possible to move away from treating every project as an isolated endeavor. I look forward to being a part of this conversation.”

The Open Government Collaboratives panel will be led by Oregon’s Department of Transportation Chief Information Officer Benjamin Berry and Newport News, Virginia IT Director Andy Stein. The duo brings years of experience in early adoption of open source software and models in government environments. Their goal is to draw the audience primarily state, local and national goverment IT management into the session and extract a reference model for additional communities on the spot.

Distinguished panelists include:

* Arup Patranabish, president and CEO Anaylze Soft INC.

* Brian Belhendorf, founder, CollabNet and board member, Mozilla Foundation

* Dr. Edmund Billing, chief medical officer, Medsphere

* Stuart Cohen, chief executive, Collaborative Software Initiative (CSI)

* Mel McIntyre, founder and managing director, OpenApps

* Brian Jamison, co-founder and CEO, OpenSourcery LLC

* Stuart McKee, national technology officer, Microsoft

Deborah Bryant, conference director, described the panel as a natural progression that has been reflected through GOSCON�s four-year history: from theory and early non-governmental reference models to smaller and more limited projects, and finally to broader and more inclusive communities. Government verticals whose projects range from a national consortium of state departments of corrections to public health IT will be represented at the conference.

Medsphere is thrilled to participate in this exciting event and share our experiences working closely with government and the public sector on successful cross-boundary projects, said Dr. Edmund Billings, Chief Medical Officer at Medsphere.�For the healthcare industry in particular, partnerships between the public and private sector will be critical in helping change the system, reduce costs and improve patient care. At Medsphere, where our core technology is built on years of development and use at the VA, we have seen first-hand the powerful and positive operational and clinical results that transpire when organizations work together towards a common goal. Now, we are formalizing what to date has been very active viral collaboration between our customers with the launch of, a large and robust healthcare ecosystem dedicated to improving care through open source technology. We look forward to building this ecosystem with the support and contributions of government, hospitals and others with a stake in reforming healthcare.�

The Wednesday October 22 panel discussion is flanked by two notable keynotes: Vivek Kundra, Chief Technology Officer, Washington D.C. who will speak on innovation, and Aneesh Chopra, Virginia�s Secretary of Technology, who will speak on collaboration.

Industry sponsorship for GOSCON 2008 includes IBM, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, OpenSourcery, DLT Solutions and Zenooss, CollabNet, Analyze Soft Inc, and Dataman USA.

More information about the conference, including registration, can be found at
About the Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON)

Now in its fourth year, GOSCON stands unrivaled as an open source software conference targeted specifically to agency CIOs and management-level personnel, their planning, policy and procurement staff. This year the conference is extending its reach to meet growing interest among the international community by conducting the first annual International Open Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Summit on October 20th.

About the Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSL)

About the OSU Open Source Lab: The Open Source Lab helps accelerate the adoption of open source software across the globe and aids the community that develops and uses it. Its staff and students provide custom open source software development and host or have hosted some of the world’s largest open source projects, including the Debian and Gentoo Linux operating systems, the Mozilla web browser, and the Apache web server


Deborah Bryant
Public Sector Communities Manager
GOSCON Director
Oregon State University
Open Source Lab

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