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n°22  |  January   2008

Open Source – the key to an open world

D Lamouche

With just a short break for the festive season, 2008 is starting out in much the same vein as 2007 ended: with everything moving at breakneck speed. Because that’s the world we live in today: no respite, no limits... A world of innovation and change. An open world – of which Bull intends to be the architect – with Open Source proving the key for us to access it.

As Jean-Marie Leclerc, General Manager of the CTI (Information Technology Center) at the Republic and State of Geneva, explains so well, the Open Source approach is totally in line with the knowledge society that is emerging before our eyes. Above and beyond advances in technology or software robustness and performance, Open Source is first and foremost a philosophy based around knowledge, constantly being enriched through sharing, collaboration and transparency. The very recent record set by Bull and the French Atomic Energy Authority (the CEA) when it comes to searching for images in very large databases is a perfect illustration of the benefits of cooperation and of making knowledge available to everyone.

So, Open Source not only gives us the tools for such collaborations, but also actively encourages them because by its nature it depends on collective action. As part of organizations including OW2 and QualiPSo, Bull is actively involved in creating this overall mood: something that now transcends the boundaries of the Open Source community. Businesses and public sector bodies are increasingly aware that knowledge can be shared; because true value, in effect its core business, really resides in an organization’s know-how and creativity. The large-scale outsourcing services that Bull delivers to the French Post Office (La Poste) are an excellent example of this: with each of the partners contributing its own skills and know-how for an optimum result.

As much a social phenomenon as a technological one, the current wave of Open Source continues to gather momentum: and 2008 will doubtless prove even more profitable. Having been one of the first to seize the initiative on Open Source, we are confident that this year will be a fascinating one, with great potential for Bull. My New Year’s wish is that it will prove to be so for you and your business as well.

Didier Lamouche
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

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