Open Wide, Open Source solution architect and integrator, has been created in September 2001 as a spin off from Thales group. The company, headed by Patrick Benichou, founder and CEO, defines its technological strategy with the help of its CTO Pierre Ficheux, a Linux expert and major Open Source actor since the 1990s. Open Wide employs over sixty engineers and has had offices in both Paris and Lyon since its inception. The R&D centre is in Lyon. At the end of 2003 the company acquired Accelance MSP, an Open Source Internet hosting and systems management expert. Open Wide references include for example Le Credit Mutuel, La Banque de France, La Poste (French postal administration), Thales, April Assurance, Neuf Telecom, Audemat, la Ville de Lyon (Lyon city council), le Grand Lyon (Greater Lyon administration), le Ministère de l’Equipement et des transports (French ministry of equipment and transportation), le Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (French ministry of Culture and Communication), la Cnam (French state health insurance administration) and more.