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Client Name: British Telecom

Case Study: chooses open source e-commerce framework delivering annual cost savings of £3 million - BT mandates the use of open source software after successful key deployment


BT mandates the use of open source software after successful key deployment


This case demonstrates the largest commercial example of how chose open source software over commercial alternatives to deliver their e-commerce and product catalogue. BT decided to change their software delivery strategy to adopt open source software for all future business applications development due to the success of this project.


1Tech has been working with BT for many years in assisting the continued delivery of online services. This case study demonstrates how 1Tech assisted BT in the integration of OFBiz (Open For Business project) into the platform. 1Tech provided systems architecture and design assurance services as an important key player in the delivery of this open source project.

The Company

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

The Problem is one of the largest online websites in the world, providing a range of services to consumers, small and major businesses. was in the process of procuring their e-commerce platform having received costly commercial off the shelf (COTS) solution proposals. The costs of each of these proposals were deemed to lack value for money. BT also stated that the commercial products analysed were not a great fit and still required lots of coding. Taking a commercial product solution would be very expensive due to the size of the implementation and the required growth rate.

BT needed to deliver a highly scalable e-commerce and product catalogue solution that could ensure low cost of ownership, integrate easily within the portal platform, and support rapid growth and large numbers of ever changing products.

The Solution

  • Perform a detailed options analysis of open source e-commerce and product catalogue solutions to determine the most appropriate components. The end solution included an assembly of the following key open source components:
    • OFBiz (Enterprise Portal)
    • Spring (Java EE Framework)
    • Mule ESB (Integration)
    • PostgreSQL (Database)
    • Apache HTTP (Web Server)
    • Lucene (Search)
    • Eclipse(Development Environment)
    • Selenium (Test Suite)
    • Subversion (Configuration Management)
    • Linux (OS)
  • The open source software components were integrated with the following commercial vendor software:
    • BEA WebLogic Portal Application Server
    • Interwoven (Content Management)
    • Oracle HR and Finance (ERP Systems)
    • Other Core Business Applications (Product Catalogue)
  • Requirements mapping for required BT functionality against OFBiz baseline. Required customisations identified and defined
  • Architecture and technical design of the ecommerce solution including integration with's portal and CMS systems
  • Provide expert leadership upon integration of OFBiz into the platform

The Result

  • Successful delivery of a product catalogue, ecommerce and ordering capability supporting 200,000 changing products
  • Annual licensing cost savings of £3 million
  • Assured delivery of one of the largest e-commerce sites built on open source software and perhaps one of the greatest case studies for OFBiz
  • World class highly scalable solution supporting 16,000 concurrent users across a 72 CPU cluster, servicing 18+ million residential and business customers
  • Integration of key open source components with BT's commercial vendor software
  • Zero licensing costs for core solution components
  • Essential improvements to business operations from catalogue management, real time order tracking, online ordering, customer awareness and account management
  • The OFBIz framework allows for rapid development of enterprise, web-based business automation solutions. A lot of functionality is provided out of the box with most elements requiring only configuration
  • Opportunities to further exploit additional OFBiz capabilities such as pricing and promotion management, customer management, fulfilment and accounting
  • Ability to support multiple user channels

1Tech's assured integration of OFBiz e-commerce and product catalogue functionality ensured annual licensing cost savings of £3 million delivering a world class highly scalable solution supporting 16,000 concurrent servicing 18+ million residential and business customers. BT was delighted upon achieving this vision and this would later set a precedent for open source software adoption across future projects


This case study proves how open source e-commerce software can be deployed as the foundation for large scale sites integrated with existing enterprise applications processing millions of transactions daily. OFBiz ( is 1Tech's preferred open source e-commerce solution for large scale implementations. The Apache Open For Business Project is an open source enterprise automation software project licensed under the Apache License Version 2.0. By open source enterprise automation we mean: open source ERP, open source CRM, open source ebusiness and so on.


1Tech are able to leverage many previous experiences of implementing open source e-commerce and ERP solutions based on OFBiz. Apache OFBiz is a foundation and starting point for reliable, secure and scalable enterprise solutions. It can be used out-of-the-box (OOTB) or customised to suit even the most challenging business needs. With OFBiz in place, you can get started right away and then grow your operations as your business grows, without the huge deployment and maintenance costs of traditional enterprise automation systems.


1Tech are an OFBiz services provider ensuring high quality and cost effective delivery of open source e-commerce and product catalogue solutions. OFBiz services providers are professional services organisations which work with the Apache Foundation in a collaborative partnership to deliver high-quality, cost-effective open source enterprise software to their clients.


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