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Malaysia to be open source world class hub: MDeC

AvantiKumar | Sept. 30, 2009
MDeC aims for 50 per cent increase in open source activity

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 SEPTEMBER 2009 Malaysian government agency MDeC aims for a 50 per cent increase in open source activity as part of a national initiative to nurture a world-class open source community.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) will promote and encourage greater use and support of open source technologies and solutions, which in turn is anticipated to produce world class Malaysian Open Source software developers, said MDeC (Multimedia Development Corporation) vice president, industry development division, Saifol Bahri Mohamad Shamlan.

To realise this, MDeC, as the driver of MSC [Multimedia Supercorridor] Malaysia initiative, will work closely with the newly established Open Source Developer's Club Malaysia (OSDC.my), said Saifol. OSDC.my will strategically strengthen and address the growth of ICT-based SMEs [small and medium enterprises] utilising open source software and solutions, to harness business objectives and enhance skillsets by connecting the local developers to the global community.

Open Source Developers Club, which was inaugurated during MSC Malaysia's Open Source 2009 Conference, is an association for open-source software developers that represents the interests and benefits of these developers, as well as various advisory and activities on matters relating to the technology.

Cutting costs and remaining innovative

In an uncertain global economy, the adoption of OSS [open source software] can assist SMEs to be cost-effective while continuing to be innovative, said Saifol. The first part of the collaboration is focused on the community, to give them quick access to the resources needed to build solutions based on open-source technologies.

He said this initiative is in line with MSC Malaysia's strategic intent to create more ICT SMEs that can become not only regional leaders but also global champions. The recently announced US$2.88 million funding for the open source software developers will also help jump-start the budding technopreneurs.

Core developers in this segment are still relatively small, only 2.3 per cent with room to grow to five and six per cent annually, he added. This is where MSC Malaysia and OSDC.my can play a significant role to boost their growth, especially in subscription-based projects for example, via software as a service, utility computing such as CRM [customer relationship management], ERP [enterprise resource planning] and e-commerce applications.

MDeC is also planning to address the agriculture, services, manufacturing, and mining and construction sectors by encouraging them to turn towards the open source software products and solutions, through its OS initiative [OSI], which is aligned with the aspirations of Malaysia's 10th Economic Plan, said Saifol.

 

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