Valencia region government completes switch to LibreOffice

24 08 2013

The administration of the Spanish autonomous region of Valencia has completed its switch to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity applications. Last week Friday the region’s ICT department announced that the office suite is installed on all of the 120,000 desktop PCs of the administration, including schools and courts. The migration will save the government some 1.5 million euro per year on proprietary software licences.

Apart from economic benefits, the commitment to free and open source software brings other advantages, including having the solutions available in the Valencian language as well as in Spanish, and IT vendor independence, which encourages competition”, the ICT department’s Director General, Sofia Bellés, said in a statement. “We also have the freedom to modify and adapt the software to our every need.”

Director Bellés says that the Valencia region’s migration began in the second half of 2012. It has already helped to save 1.3 million euro that would otherwise have been spent on licences for a proprietary office suite. The switch is part of measures taken by the region’s council to reduce the cost of ICT, in particular by saving on proprietary software licences.

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City of Munich: “Migration to sustainable desktop completed successfully”

30 05 2013

The administration of the city of Munich in Germany has completed the switch to the open source desktop, says Peter Hofmann, head of the migration project last week Wednesday. The IT department is now securing the strategy, to make sure it can be maintained by the city and to sustainably support interactions with citizens, businesses and other public authorities.

Hofmann, speaking at the Linux Tag conference in Berlin on 22 May, is confident that the city’s open source strategy can be maintained because it is focused on sustainability. “We took small steps, instead of a big bang approach. We prefer quality over time and choose making it ourselves over waiting or spending.”

The city is now using a unified desktop system, Limux, its own distribution based on the Ubuntu Linux open source operating system and open source applications, on 14,000 of the total 15,000 desktops, spread over 51 offices across the city. That is 2,000 more than it’s intended goal, using Limux on 80 % of its desktops. Hofmann confirmed that the city will now switch to using the LibreOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools, replacing the current open source alternative OpenOffice, that is used since 2006.

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Spain’s Extremadura region switches 40,000 PCs to Linux and open source software

2 05 2013

Expects annual savings of €30m

THE SPANISH REGION of Extremadura has announced that it will switch 40,000 government PCs to open source software.

The government of Extremadura has worked out what many already know, that open source software can deliver significant cost savings over using proprietory software. The region’s government has decided to switch 40,000 PCs to open source software, including a customised Linux distribution called Sysgobex.

According to the Extremadura government’s calculations, the switch to Linux and open source software will save it €30m a year, an amount that should come in particularly handy given Spain’s economic challenges. The government has already migrated 150 PCs to open source software in various ministries, including the department for Development, Culture and Employment.

Extremadura’s previous government had already switched 70,000 PCs in secondary schools and 15,000 PCs in health care to a local Linux distribution called Linex. It said that PCs using its Sysgobex Linux distribution will be able to access health records and that because they can be centrally managed, it expects to save on administration costs

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Linux brings over €10 million savings for Munich

23 11 2012

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Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city’s own Linux platform. The calculation of savings follows a question by the city council’s independent Free Voters (Freie Wähler) group, which led to Munich’s municipal LiMux project presenting a comparative budget calculation at the meeting of the city council’s IT committee on Wednesday. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million.

The study is based on around 11,000 migrated workplaces within Munich’s city administration as well as 15,000 desktops that are equipped with an open source office suite. The comparison with Windows assumes that Windows systems must be on the same technological level; this would, for example, mean that they would have been upgraded to Windows 7 at the end of 2011. Project parameters such as scope, duration, applied methodology or external support were assumed to be the same in all scenarios.

According to the calculation, Windows with Microsoft Office would so far have incurred about €11.6 million (£9.3 million) in operating-system-related costs. Microsoft Office and its upgrades would have cost €4.2 million (£3.3 million), and the Windows system about €2.6 million (£2.1 million). The LiMux project allowed a further €5 million (£4 million) for hardware upgrades in connection with the Windows 7 system upgrade. Application migration costs were estimated to be around €55,000 (£44,000). If the city council had chosen Windows but used OpenOffice, the estimated cost would have been about two thirds, or €7.4 million (£5.9 million).

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