Procuring open source software

How do you procure something that is free? It might sound like an undergraduate philosopher’s late night joke, but it is a serious issue when it comes to the ‘purchasing’ of open source software. The source code is usually freely available as a download and there is nothing to pay for the licence to use it. However, this actually causes problems for established procurement processes, which are built around vendor sales teams, requests for proposals, tendering documents, quotations and such like.

I’ll be helping to solve this problem on 18th of March, at a conference held by Oxford University’s Open Source Software Advisory Service. I’m hoping they’ll have worked out how to procure a good lunch.

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