Belfast Telegraph

College helps businesses to improve their performance

By Symon Ross

More than 30 small and medium sized businesses have saved money and improved their business performance since the launch of Southern Regional College’s Open Source Solution Centre in October, the college has announced.

Delivered through funding provided by the Connected Project and the Innovation Fund, the centre introduces firms to the benefits of open source software packages — software which is in the public domain and can be modified and improved without paying costly licensing fees.

Daniel Bled, manager of the Open Source Solution Centre, said: “With local SMEs facing unprecedented challenges associated with the current economic downturn, the versatility and adaptability of open source software allows local companies to reduce costs and streamline their business operations by providing a platform to end costly agreements with existing software suppliers, and rapidly develop critical business applications.”

Newry-based engineering company FM Environmental, which supplies services to the wastewater treatment industry, has used the centre to introduce OSS packages to its business.

Nicola Whyte, human resource manager for FM Environmental, said: “We were immediately impressed with the significant reduction in costs associated with the software.”

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Belfast Telegraph