Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

The State of the French F/OSS business ecosystem (With some insights for the rest of the EU)

The State of the French F/OSS business ecosystem (With some insights for the rest of the EU)

Presented at the Mindtrek Conference.

Stefane Fermigier

September 08, 2021

More Decks by Stefane Fermigier

Other Decks in Business


  1. Stéfane Fermigier Co-founder & Co-Chairman @ CNLL | Founder &

    CEO @ Abilian SAS The State of the French F/OSS business ecosystem (With some insights for the rest of the EU)
  2. About CNLL French Union of Free / Open (Software) Companies

    Aka “Conseil National du Logiciel Libre” (French Open Source Software Council) = French association, founded in 2010 by joining 12 regional clusters, representing around 300 companies in France Our mission : bring together open digital companies (“ENL”) in a spirit of community and around shared values; and represent, defend, and promote the free / open source software and open digital industry in France
  3. Our vision The CNLL is at the service of the

    ENL (Open Digital Companies) in France. It aims to create an environment conducive to their development by: • Increasing the awareness on the specificities of our activity (core values; business models; customer benefits: economic, technical and strategic…) • Encouraging both collaboration and fair competition between our companies, and collaboration with other players in the free software and open innovation ecosystem • Removing institutional and environmental obstacles that could oppose their growth
  4. What we do • Develop and publish studies, surveys, white

    papers, position papers, etc. • The last one was published in June, based on a survey of 134 French F/ OSS companies • Organise events (Open Source Experience, B-Boost, other local events) • Business development (bring members together to reply to RFPs, etc.) • Public policy work (liaise with people responsible for or concerned with open source policy in the French administration and Parliament) • Collaborate with similar-minded organisations • Including APELL (“association of associations” at the EU level), OW2, etc.
  5. A definition for Digital Sovereignty "Digital sovereignty" has been defined

    by the French General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN) in the 2018 Strategic Cyber Defense Review (p. 93) as: a strategic autonomy in which, without seeking to do everything internally, it is a matter of preserving an autonomous capacity for assessment, decision and action in the digital space. http://www.sgdsn.gouv.fr/uploads/2018/02/20180206-np-revue-cyber-public-v3.3-publication.pdf
  6. F/OSS and DS according to the Commission In its Oct

    2020 open source plan, the Commission notes that "the open source model has an impact on Europe's digital autonomy. It is likely to give Europe a chance to create and maintain its own independent digital approach to the digital giants in the cloud and allow it to retain control over its processes, information and technology." https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/informatics/open-source-software-strategy_en
  7. This is not entirely unheard of (in principle) • SGDSN:

    "an industrial strategy based on open source, provided that it is part of a thoughtful commercial approach, can enable French or EU companies to re-gain market share and thereby enable France and the EU to regain sovereignty.” • A. de Montchalin: “By accompanying administrations so that they use open source to the best of their ability, I hope that the Free Software Mission will support the French and European economic players in this ecosystem, in particular by taking better account of the criterion of transparency of source codes in public procurement”
  8. What should be done ? • Enforce existing regulations “encouraging”,

    “preferring” or “mandating” the use of F/OSS in the public administration, add missing ones • Promote the F/OSS ecosystem, including the EU business sector • Finance both innovative and maintenance work, using the proper financial tools
  9. Proposed strategic plan (1/3) Double down on OSPOs • OSPOs

    everywhere + network of OSPOs • Engagement with the F/OSS EU business ecosystems should be explicit in their mission • One of the OSPOs’ KPIs should be to explicitly increase the proportion of F/OSS in IT purchasing by the public administration they are working for
  10. Proposed strategic plan (2/3) Finance open source work • Increase

    the proportion of F/OSS (and OSH…) projects in R&D and Innovation financing • Ensure that proper, direct contractualisation with F/OSS SMEs is possible and regularly activated • Ensure that large support contracts, which are usually awarded to large IT companies, provide enough value to SME that create and maintain the software they support • Develop explicit funding schemes for infrastructure software when the contractualisation schemes above are not an option
  11. Proposed strategic plan (3/3) Level the playing field for F/OSS

    • Promote F/OSS, either specifically (e.g. directories of existing solutions and technologies) or in the context of existing promotion schemes for the tech sector (e.g. “La French Tech”) • Increase awareness around F/OSS in the education and higher education curricula • Ensure adequate legal frameworks: interoperability requirements, public procurement regulations, no software patents, GDPR, etc. • Keep the influence of “big tech” companies at bay
  12. Example: The Free Employment Charter (2013) 1. Provide a free

    / open source professional environment (operating system and application software) to each employee who wishes so 2. Promote employee contributions to free software communities, including by encouraging the redistribution of changes made to existing open source software in course of the company's business 3. Participate, by sending collaborators and / or through financial support, to events in the open source ecosystem 4. To allow employees to train themselves over the course of their career on open technologies in order to ensure their professional development in the field of free software 5. When paying the compulsory apprenticeship tax, consider first and foremost the higher education courses which offer a teaching of methods, techniques and tools specific to free software Launched in 2013, with about 100 signatories (companies) who pledge to: