Italy seems to be winning the race to Open Source adoption, it seems. We have learned about how various Italian cities like Udine, Turin, Todi and Turni opted for open source alternatives of Microsoft office in the past. Now the news comes that Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy is about to complete its switch to Apache OpenOffice next month.
Switching to OpenOffice
The migration to OpenOffice will be complete by next month and will cover 4200 workstations, across 10 departments and 5 agencies. In addition, Open Document Format (ODF) will be the default document format. The initiative to switch to OpenOffice was approved in late 2013 and was originally planned to be completed by end of 2014. The move to OpenOffice from proprietary office product is believed to save around 2 million euro in licensing fee.
To ease this migration and improve interoperability, several custom tools and plugins are also being developed by the team in charge of the migration.
Head of the project, Giovanni Grazia is enthusiastic about the migration but he is prepared for the brickbats as well.
“Changing office suite is hard work, and we use the occasion to advocate for free and open source software. Some of the region’s civil servants are keen to switch, and some are very annoyed, as they have been using the proprietary alternative for 20 years. To deal with any issues during the transition, a team of five support staffers is backed up by three IT specialists. Department by department, one at a time, we’re completing the switch. Step by step, change is coming.”
I hope that other Countries will follow the suit. I wish good luck to all individuals and countries who switch over to open source.
Source: Open Source Observatory