Brazilian government owned IT enterprise SERPRO selects Debian GNU/Linux for its servers and wishes to collaborate
The Servico Federal de Processamento de Dados (SERPRO), (a US$ 1 billion annual revenue Brazilian government owned IT enterprise), announced during the Debian Day Brasil 2008 Porto Alegre that it has selected Debian GNU/Linux as the preferred distribution for its hundreds of GNU/Linux development and production servers. Future SERPRO tenders and public hearings will include clauses requiring Debian GNU/Linux compatibility. Recent SERPRO tenders have already encouraged participation by small FLOSS regional companies, as well as Debian support services.
The SERPRO board decided that Debian GNU/Linux is more suitable for its new corporate goals. SERPRO has decided to increase supplier independence, flexibility, agility, and participation in technical solutions by direct interaction with the Debian Project community. This is the first time that a federal government institution of this size has reached out to the Debian Project community for a closer relationship. The Debian Project will keep its institutional partners collaboration channel available for other government agencies who want to consider a similar relationship.
During a discussion panel with the LUG Debian RS (mediated by the Associacao Software Livre at Debian Day Porto Alegre) SERPRO heard suggestions on how to encourage the participation of key employees, avoid internal forks of FLOSS projects, and modify its internal culture to relax tight project controls. These will increase collaboration with, and gain the respect of, the community for mutual benefit, improving communications, and so lead to better operational performance.
SERPRO has created a FLOSS Strategic Coordinator (CESOL), in part to assist co-operation between FLOSS communities and other federal government agencies, using the federal government committee for FLOSS implantation (CISL) website and meetings. SERPRO and other Brazilian government agencies have already started to release some code as free software.
SERPRO is evolving its internal culture to the values of FLOSS through the creation of a corporate internal Wiki, Gforge, introducing regional FLOSS committees, increasing management awareness at all levels, opening code, and supporting FLOSS events. Debian Day Brasil 2008 was supported by SERPRO and a number of other companies.
It has 43 years experience of development and production, 10,000+ employees, and manages a nationwide network infrastructure of tens of thousands machines, from handhelds to mainframes, clusters and grids, at or for many Brazilian government agencies.
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