20070824

Open Software, Open Minds, Open thinking.

One of the big problems at Milwaukee County is the lack of creativity by both Scott Walker appointees and the existing bureaucracy. They tend to look for commercial solutions from a semi-closed circle of vendors and consultants. They don't want to take a risk on some of the technologies like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that can save Milwaukee County money and thus allow for the preservation of services.

Many VoIP carriers provide flat rate lines with unlimited calling in the US and Canada.

Significant savings can be incurred using VoIP based PBXs especially if implemented using Open Source based systems such as Asterix.

If Federal, State, County, Cites and Villages interconnect over their own fiber networks, the cost of inter agency calling can be reduced to nearly zero.

We need to get our heads out of the sand and stop government reliance on on gold plated IT solutions. A mentality that worships big consultants and big business solutions seems to reign supreme in Wisconsin. We need to foster a spunky, roll-your own, self dependency. Open Source Software (OSS) can provide low cost solutions to many of governments IT problems. To be effective, it takes disciplined software development and a cooperative approach with other other Villages, Cities, Counties, States and Countries involved in OSS development.

Google (A Linux shop) and Yahoo (A FreeBSD Shop) are companies that have made themselves using OSS to craft customer solutions. With the right minds at the helm, OSS solutions can architected to be scalable and reliable.

We need to put money into employee development rather than the pockets of large consultant firms like Accenture. We need to cooperate with other developers using the Internet and work to collectively improve our OSS based software. Taking an open, cooperative yet self reliant approach, we can insure that government can best serve the people and be frugal at the same time.

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