I.T. Group of Companies begins implementing three projects related to using open source software for education


I.T. Group of Companies begins implementing three projects related to using open source software for education
The I.T. Group of Companies has been declared winner in three open competitions of the FederalEducationAgency related to rendering a complete set of services in the framework of the project of implementing open source software (OSS) at all Russian general education institutions. The Agency has raffled off the following lots:
  • Developing and modernizing an open source software package for the general education institutions of Russian Federation
  • Providing technical support to the general education institutions of Russian Federation that implement and use the open source software package
  • Training education sphere specialists to implement and use the open source software package for education.
The I.T. Company, who is the winner of the first two lots, will render assistance as to putting in commercial operation and further improving the repository of Linux-based school-oriented operating systems, which was created in 2008; provide technical support, monitoring and development quality inspection of the OSS package; and ensure the OSS compatibility with the new generation education products. The I.T. Co., who has also won the third lot, is supposed to use teleconferencing to train the educational managers and education specialists of the general education institutions to implement and use the OSS package. Besides, the I.T. Academy will provide advanced training to the representatives of the regional educational institutions and create a regional staff pool for consultations and methodological support of the Russian educational institutions that begin implementing the OSS.

“The importance of the three projects is very high, both for the Russian system of education and for the Russian IT market as a whole. Our main goal is to let Russian students and teachers have access to the best open source software, ensure maximal use of the OSS at schools due to the immediate high-quality technical support, and train the teaching staff,” said Tagir Yapparov, Head of I.T. Group Board of Directors. “Now, we have all the components required for successful project implementation. On the one side, it's the experience accumulated when making dozens of projects for educational institutions and the ability to provide high-quality technical support and training due to the I.T. Group territorially distributed structure. On the other side, it is the long-term cooperation with the OSS community as well as the in-depth knowledge of OSS, which recently led to the creation of the PingWinSoftware subsidiary, whose experts will make up the nucleus of the OSS project team. All this will condition high-quality, highly professional accomplishment of state contracts.”

These projects will be based on the following principles:
  • reaching a maximum possible effect of using the OSS at schools
  • management coordination, ensuring quality control and logical integrity of the projects
  • maximum openness and publicity as well as feedback
  • involvement of the OSS community.
“Last year, the I.T. Academy accomplished the project named Using distant education technologies for helping the teaching staff of educational institutions to acquire expertise in the sphere of information and communication technologies and open source software. We gained priceless experience of organizing mass-scale training and testing teachers' knowledge as to OSS solutions. The goals of the new project are still more extensive, so we will not only pay a lot of attention to the technological aspect but also make the project really open for discussion and take into account the teachers' suggestions. Because, in fact, it is school teachers of information science who are our main customers,” says Igor Morozov, President of the I.T. Academy.

Adds Dmitri Komissarov, CEO of PingWin Software: “We began working on the projects long before we applied for participation in the competition. The fact is that, according to the rules, it was required not only to make and implement a single repository of all the school-oriented OSS products as well as an efficient customer technical support system, but also, as one of the results of our work, to create a consolidated community of OSS developers and users. That is why, at the very beginning, we were ready to come to an understanding with all the participants interested in the eventual success of the project, and to collaborate with the OSS community. We understand how important these projects are, and realize that, when implemented, they will provide new possibilities of using OSS in Russia. In order to solve all the existing tasks professionally, in such a condensed timeframe, we must combine our efforts with those of our partners, which, in itself, will make a new impulse for the development of the industry,” says Komissarov.

As if proving the above, PingWin Software has posted on its official website and in the LJ blog a detailed description of the project principles, addressing the OSS community, as well as an announcement about the project supervisory committee. It is planned that the committee will consist of independent experts who will represent various groups of Russian developers and users of OSS.

About PingWin Software
The PingWin Software company, which is a member of the I.T. Group, was created in 2009 and specializes in open source software (OSS). The company offers a wide spectrum of OSS-based integration solutions: technical support for private and corporate users (workstations, servers, the OpenOffice.org office package) as well as reworking and developing OSS for the customers. One of the important directions is consulting for those switching to OSS, and migration projects for corporate users.

About the I.T. Academy
I.T. Academy is the Russian and ex-Union leader in supplying products, services, and solutions for professional education, based on up-to-date information and communication technologies. The I.T. Academy is a member of the I.T.. Group of Companies.

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