Italian Military to Save Millions by Switching to LibreOffice

Italian military switches to LibreOffice

Italian Military will be saving around 29 million Euro in next few years by ditching Microsoft Office in favor of LibreOffice, says report.

LibreOffice is the most popular free and open source alternative to Microsoft Office. And it’s not just Italian Military that opted for this smart move. Several government organizations across Europe have been opting for the open source productivity suites, mostly in order to save licensing costs of proprietary software. French city Toulouse is one of many such examples.

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Italy’s Ministry of Defense and the LibreItalia Association signed a deal last year. With this collaboration, LibreOffice office suite will be used in all of the Ministry’s offices.¬†LibreItalia, a non-profit organization that promotes LibreOffice, will help the Italian Ministry of Defense with trainers for their offices across the country.

As reported by Softpedia, Italo Vignoli, Honorary President of LibreItalia, quoted:

“Under the agreement, the Italian Ministry of Defense will develop educational content for a series of online training courses on LibreOffice, which will be released to the community under Creative Commons, while the partners, LibreItalia, will manage voluntarily the communication and training of trainers in the Ministry,”

This migration to LibreOffice project has been named LibreDifesa.

The great migration

Under this LibreDifesa project, over 100,000 desktops of defense ministry will be migrated to LibreOffice from Microsoft Office. As per the deadlines, around 75,000 workstations will be migrated by the end of the year 2017.

Remaining 25,000 workstations will be migrated by 2020. This will be the biggest LibreOffice deployment in Europe. As per General Camillo Sileo, Deputy Chief of Department VI, the entire migration is estimated to save somewhere between 26-29 million Euro. He also added:

Thus far, we have migrated 5,000 workstations and have not yet encountered any serious problems. If managed properly, migrating to LibreOffice is less difficult than you may think. People are enthusiastic, involved and helpful. By sharing as much as we can, being transparent, and working closely with the LibreOffice community, we hope to send a strong message to our citizens and become a valuable example to other public agencies.

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More power to LibreOffice

The Document Foundation‘s efforts to make LibreOffice a viable alternative to Microsoft Office are bearing fruit now. The sheer enthusiasm put together by the volunteers of LibreOffice has made it one of the most prominent and successful open source project. I wish them more success in near future.

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  • The project should reach its end next year (2020). Since a couple of years it runs under silence, no news are published. What is the actual status of such ambitious project?

  • Smart move. Hopefully more government departments around the world will follow thus saving taxpayers millions of $$.

  • The Italian military, like French and Germanpublic services will have teams of IT specialists to do the customisation. Individuals and small enterprises will find LO of relatively limited use because it lacks an integrated development environment accessible to everyone and with a thriving internet community, equivalent to (hopefully better than) VBA.