UK Schools forced to go open source

Fanciful? No not at all and here is why in three short headings:

Credit Crunchy Stuff

I think we can take it as read that there is a shortage of money as credit withdrawal directly impacts on the major school refurbishment programs and the BSF (Building Schools for the Future) programs. All of the Goverment's schemes in this sector are joint Public and Private ventures and the private sector is squeezed dry by the lack of Bank lending.

There is of course precious little point bringing forward public spending schemes unless you are prepared to lend directly to your partner industries, which at the time of writing is not the case. Ergo, no lending to construction companies and the like, then no BSF.

If no BSF and no mega-refurbishment program then a major gravy-train for certain public-fund-dependent software and hardware vendors stops. Insolvency beckons for some.

Continuing in the above vein, in difficult times risk-mitigation against supplier insolvency is a big issue. Take for example the education Learning Platform market. At last week's BETT show I think I counted nine for sale and one for free.

In any market, this is all a bit crowded for such a specialised product. I think that probably when and if LPs take off (or get made compulsory) the market could stand three or four LPs.

Do you remember that in a previous post I pointed out how hard it is to migrate from one LP to another? Well actually it's nigh on impossible so you had better make the right choice of vendor, five of the nine will be gone in three years...

..Go for the big company for safety? I think not, see point 1 above; being bigger now simply means falling faster due to poor debt-to-equity ratios*. Who would have thought Microsoft would be laying off 5000 staff as anounced this week and are unable to forecast future profits?

*(Or maybe they are 'over-geared' or 'leveraged' or not liquid enough. The good thing is that I now feel confident that my understanding of the jargon is at least as good as our clueless bankers)

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