[Nottingham] Discussion: OSS Migration

Jonathan john00 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 11 15:08:56 BST 2008

2008/7/11 Richard Smedley <rs at m6-it.org>:
> People first, then technical challenges.
> Firstly, you need management on-side to push through
> changes. People don't like change - they're used to
> coming to work to do a job, and a new desktop with
> different menus disrupts that.
> You can manage that change through training. Sit the
> users down with OOo Writer and walk through a job
> they'd normally do on MS Word; most will quickly
> see that it's not actually *difficult*, just slightly
> different.
> Beginners have no real problem. Power users, with lots
> of macros, do.
> Change for change's sake is never good. It has to fit
> into logical stages as part of an overall IT strategy,
> so start with the IT strategy :-)
> Many people just use Office and Internet apps, and the
> change is fairly easy. Accounts are likely to be
> dependent upon proprietary apps. Investigate alternatives,
> but go for the easy changes first (usually back-end
> servers, and desktops for new users and upgrades).
> Again, always change as part of overall IT strategy,
> not just because people *ought* to use FOSS ;-)
> Technical challenges - we use Ubuntu and Debian, and
> most things just work, but test everything first ;^)
> WINE works surprisingly well for some proprietary apps,
> and has meant some organisations have been able to
> switch over totally to GNU/Linux, if not yet to wholly
> Free Software.
> In the case of your consultancy, are they wed to particular
> CRM/ERPs or project management software?

A very thought provoking response. When I said 'large' I probably
should have said enormous! I'm working at Accenture so unfortunately I
doubt I'll have much leverage on their overall IT strategy as a summer
intern. I haven't got to grips with all the applications they use yet,
but what I have been using has been very proprietary.. MS Excel, .NET
... I'm just trying to put a framework together in my mind on how an
OSS migration might work. (For fun.)

Regards, Jonathan

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