Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How Much Can Open Source Save You?

As it turns out - lots! In a recent report (via Ars Technica), the Gendarmerie Nationale identified significant cost savings as a result of moving towards open source applications and platforms:

France's Gendarmerie Nationale, the country's national police force, says it has saved millions of dollars by migrating its desktop software infrastructure away from Microsoft Windows and replacing it with the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

The Gendarmerie began its transition to open source software in 2005 when it replaced Microsoft Office with across the entire organization. It gradually adopted other open source software applications, including Firefox and Thunderbird. After the launch of Windows Vista in 2006, it decided to phase out Windows and incrementally migrate to Ubuntu.

Since 2004, [...] the Gendarmerie has saved up to €50 million on licensing and maintenance costs as a result of the migration strategy.

Interestingly, the Gendarmerie noted that their migration to open source was less troublesome than the alternative:

[Gendarmerie Lieutenant-Colonel Xavier Guimard] believes that the move from Windows to Ubuntu posed fewer challenges than the organization would have faced if it had updated to Windows Vista.

"Moving from Microsoft XP to Vista would not have brought us many advantages and Microsoft said it would require training of users," said Lt. Col. Guimard. "Moving from XP to Ubuntu, however, proved very easy. The two biggest differences are the icons and the games. Games are not our priority."

OSCAR EMR users have long experienced the benefit of open source software including reduced support costs, and more robust and secure infrastructure.

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