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Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Business Case for OpenOffice & ODF

This is how ICT decisions should be made ... with a business case.

Here is one city's business case for the move to Star Office / OpenOffice for desktop computers. The city is Bristol (in the UK). And its business case includes a cost-benefit analysis of the switch to ODF.

So, the City of Bristol becomes #3 in the list of governments officially adopting ODF. Yesterday I blogged about #2, the National Archives of Australia (See below).

6 comments:

Sam said...

It's a side point, Jeff, but I believe Bristol is #1, actually.

It's not clear whether The Commonwealth Exec will be #2 or #12 because as Peter Quinn has been telling on his world tour, many state IT offices are quietly pursuing ODF. Granted, the floodgates are holding until Accessibility is removed as a distracting Red Herring, but they will eventually loose.

At best The Commonwealth Exec might be no better than #3 because The Commonwealth's own Judiciary has already converted half their desktops to ODF (the Exec is still in a pilot program). They, and how many other organizations, are going about this quietly so as not to stir up trouble?

But The Commonwealth Exec will always be #1 in our hearts ;-)

Jeff Kaplan said...

Correction noted. Maybe in terms of publicly announced adoption of ODF the list properly looks like . . .

1. City of Bristol
2. Massachusetts
3. National Archives of Australia

John said...

Well, did Bristol actually endorse ODF? It's not clear to me.

As I can tell, they decided to consolidate on StarOffice already in 2004. The news now is about the business case. This actually makes it very good news, as it is based on real experience then.

Jeff Kaplan said...

There is specific attention in Bristol's business case about ODF, and its benefits. I can only assume that the switch to ODF is part of its migration to Star Office.

Anyone know if that is in fact correct?

gavin said...

Hi folks, I can clear this up. When Bristol made the decision to standardise on StarOffice in 2004 ODF wasn't a finalised format. StarOffice 8 was in development, and would have been Bristol's choice, but slipped a couple of times, so the deployment in 2005 was of SO7, using the original SO/OOo XML format.

A upgrade to StarOffice 8, with native ODF support, will be rolled out sometime in the future, and from then on the benefits of ODF will be available. That's why it's in the business case guidance (and also because that document is for other Councils to use, and we assume they will implement OOo 2 or SO8 immediately).

Jeff Kaplan said...

Gavin,
Thanks for the clarification. It sounds like it's safe to assume that Bristol will be moving to ODF soon enough.

Question: do you know of other Councils considering OOo2 and ODF?