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Red Hat camps at federal government's door

Red Hat has manoeuvred to boost uptake of open source software in the federal government, opening its first Canberra office this week.Gus Robertson, vice president, Red Hat south Asia Pacific said that the company was currently running proof of concept projects within a number of Commonwealth departments and that the new office would give the government confidence the technology was adequately supported.

Red Hat has manoeuvred to boost uptake of open source software in the federal government, opening its first Canberra office this week.

Gus Robertson, vice president, Red Hat south Asia Pacific said that the company was currently running proof of concept projects within a number of Commonwealth departments and that the new office would give the government confidence the technology was adequately supported.

The Australian government sector is running around six months to a year behind North American and European markets when it comes to open source adoption, according to Red Hat.

Roberston argues that for open source technology to succeed government needs to be given confidence in the communal software development model rather than simply made aware of it.

"I think the awareness [of open source] is there. It's now a question of how comfortable does government feel going that way, and once they do go that way, who is going to be there to support them and help them?" said Robertson.

The new office will have a total headcount of one. Red Hat has appointed a business development manager to act as a liaison for its government projects. The majority of Red Hat's technical staff are currently located in Brisbane, with most of its sales force concentrated outside the state, in Melbourne and Sydney.

Robertson said the ACT office was not expected to generate significant revenues for at least six months.