Italian Military Saving Big Bucks by Moving From Microsoft Office to Open-source Libre Office
The Italian military is looking to save big time by switching from proprietary Microsoft Windows Office suite to the free and open-source Libre office.
Libre office is the most actively develop free and open-source software suite available anywhere in the world. The project is funded and maintained by the document foundation and available for a variety of platforms ranging from Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and even Android.
The software offers everything from word processing, creation and editing of spreadsheets, slideshows, diagrams, composing mathematical formulae, as well as working with databases.
Available in one hundred and ten languages, LibreOffice is the most widely used office software suite after Microsoft but it looks the Document Foundation will be getting one over their Proprietary rival as the Italian military is planning a massive overhaul of its Office suite software platform.
It is fast becoming a growing trend in Europe as cities and municipalities switch from the proprietary and sometimes very expensive software licences offered by Microsoft to more secure cheap and open-source alternatives.
The Italian military and LibreItalia Association has signed a deal that will see over 100,000 workstations migrated to open source Libre Office. This will see the military shaved off one million Euros of their annual licence budget.
“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,” Italo Vignoli, Honorary President of LibreItalia was quoted saying.
The migration process which is codenamed LibreDifesa by the military is already underway looking to migrate over 75,000 workstations before 2017 comes around.
The remaining 25,000 workstations are expected to be migrated by the end of 2020. The marks the biggest migration from a proprietary platform to a free and open source software.
“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” said General Camillo Sileo, Deputy Chief of Department VI.
The entire process will cost the Italian military somewhere close to 800,000 as oppose to the €1.8 million per year that they were paying for the Microsoft office licences every year.