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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the all-about-the-napoleans dept.

EU 296

jrepin sends this EU report: The French city of Toulouse saved 1 million euro by migrating all its desktops from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice. This project was rooted in a global digital policy which positions free software as a driver of local economic development and employment. Former IT policy-maker Erwane Monthubert said, "Software licenses for productivity suites cost Toulouse 1.8 million euro every three years. Migration cost us about 800,000 euro, due partly to some developments. One million euro has actually been saved in the first three years. It is a compelling proof in the actual context of local public finance. ... France has a high value in free software at the international level. Every decision-maker should know this."

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Enjoy crumpets (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 months ago | (#47534215)

For a May '68 that goes all the way! For internaional socialist revolution!

Re:Enjoy crumpets (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534225)

I'll pass.

As We Speak (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 months ago | (#47534231)

As we speak, Microsoft is instructing its European "business partners" to give a certain French city a shitload of really cheap Office licenses.

Re:As We Speak (0)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47534319)

I think we'll see more and more international organizations/companies migrating from US company products. I'm surprised this french press release didn't end with, "fsck u, M$! and fsck u 2, NSA!"

Re:As We Speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535085)

I think we'll see more and more international organizations/companies migrating from US company products. I'm surprised this french press release didn't end with, "fsck u, M$! and fsck u 2, NSA!"

That'd be "baise-moi, les Etats-Unis!"

Re:As We Speak (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 months ago | (#47534665)

As we speak, Microsoft is instructing its European "business partners" to give a certain French city a shitload of really cheap Office licenses.

Either that or members of city council wake up with severed horse heads in their beds.

Re:As We Speak (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 months ago | (#47535253)

"Either your name is on the volume licensing agreement... or your brains."

Re:As We Speak (2)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#47534703)

Cheap is a better offer but it's hard to compete with free.

sure, works for France (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534233)

Try installing LibreOffice in America, and the users will whine, "why it not Microsoft????" They'll complain to your boss, you'll be fired and ostracized, and you'll have to learn French and relocate to France if you ever want to work again.

Re:sure, works for France (5, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 2 months ago | (#47534287)

If I could get a job in France, I think I'd move. I'd have more vacation time and I can drink wine at lunch.

Re:sure, works for France (2, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47534475)

You can have all the vacation time you want anywhere you live, all you do is negotiate terms of your own contract. Vacation time is not something that government can force an employer to add on top of your salary, it is your salary, it is just a different way to pay you. You can get more money or more vacation time, your call. It is the same situation with anything that is mandated by a government that must be part of your employment contract. You want to get medical insurance through your employer then your hourly rate is going to be lower, same with any tax.

Re:sure, works for France (5, Interesting)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47534575)

You can have all the vacation time you want anywhere you live

Which is why every American takes 6 weeks in the summer.

In my experience, most permanent job employers don't like to negotiate on vacation time. Sometimes they'll give on a day or two, but usually they're not crazy about vacation time that deviates from whatever the position qualifies for. The only explanation ever given to me was that because salary is "secret" it's easier to compensate employees differentially; vacation is visible to other employees at the same level and differential compensation creates tension.

In a contract employment situation you can negotiate anything, but I've found in shorter term contracts there's usually some kind of deadline that's non-negotiable, making free-lance vacationing a little bit challenging.

Re:sure, works for France (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534659)

Vacation time is not something that government can force an employer to add on top of your salary, it is your salary, it is just a different way to pay you.

I don't know for sure about France but in many European countries vacation is by law on top of your salary, so you're still getting your normal paycheck when you're on vacation. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case in France as well.

Re:sure, works for France (0, Redundant)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47534715)

You are mistaken about money, prices and business in general. Money doesn't come from vacuum, it is generated by the business that produces something. Any business that has employees has to consider the total cost of labour, not only a salary, so when you are hired by a business you are paid a salary and if there are any other 'benefits' that come with that salary that is just part of your salary, this includes your vacation pay.

Business is not there to pay your wages, it is there to make the most money for the investor(s), this means that no business will be overpaying its employees above their market rate, and in cases where there are laws that raise labour prices (wages) with various laws and rules and regulations then all of these costs are counted towards your total compensation.

Your total compensation is just it. You can negotiate to be compensated in dollars, pieces of silver, gallons of milk, condoms or paid vacation days, but all of these are part of total price of your labour and where you get something, you lose something somewhere else.

Why this goes above the heads of average /.ers (and moderators here) I have no idea.

Re:sure, works for France (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534779)

You can negotiate to be compensated in dollars, pieces of silver, gallons of milk, condoms or paid vacation days, but all of these are part of total price of your labour and where you get something, you lose something somewhere else.

Sure, but if the vacation is legally mandated then you often can't actually negotiate it (apart from extending it).

Re:sure, works for France (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47534847)

The point is that you are getting fewer dollars / euros and under the guise of giving you 'something for nothing' the government is actually forcing you to accept payment in form of vacation days as opposed to anything else you might have negotiated on your own with the employer.

Re:sure, works for France (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534995)

Why would I be paid less when I receive the same benefits as everyone else? What would the employer do, hire someone else? You know, a company is not something where every employee gets to split the revenue equally at the end of each month. You get a paycheck, and that paycheck is based on a compromise between what I'm willing to sell my work for and what my employer is willing to pay for it. They are not going to pay less because they have to pay vacation, because they are not going to get someone else to do the job for them.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47535021)

Again, in a system where there is a law mandating some minimum paid vacation days your hourly wage is lower than in an equivalent system where this law doesn't exist. Your employer already took the law into account when offering your compensation package, the market has taken your minimum paid vacation days into account while discovering price for your hourly labour. You are getting paid in vacation days, that's all it means, and the government dictated to you that you have to take part of your compensation in vacation days rather than in money or whatever you might have negotiated yourself.

Re:sure, works for France (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535089)

Of course, and my wage is also lower that what it could be because I'm allowed to make as many pee breaks as I want. It's just part of my compensation. Got to remember to negotiate a fixed number of pee breaks next time.

I wonder how much toilet paper is part of my compensation...

Re:sure, works for France (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535105)

But any true capitalist knows you can't utilize your resources/capital for 100%. Capital needs maintenance. For humans that is vacation.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47535293)

That is not the problem of your employer, that's your own problem. You should be worried about maintaining your own health, your employer shouldn't be in the picture even for this. This is what you should take into account while negotiating if you can afford to do that in the economy the way it is.

Re:sure, works for France (5, Insightful)

AnOnyxMouseCoward (3693517) | about 2 months ago | (#47534827)

In a theoretical world you would be correct, but in practice you're wrong. It's very hard to negotiate something out of the norm, which in the US, is vacation time. For example, try negotiating a role as an associate in investment banking while saying "hey cut down 5 weeks of my salary I'll take extra time off." It can't work, because the culture doesn't allow it. You either accept the role with no vacation and high pay, or you don't get hired. I can easily negotiate a couple grands on a salary, but getting an extra week off? Rough.

Also the "market wage" (or "market total compensation package") is highly dependent on the laws regulating it. If every single company in the US was paying you a pittance, with some paying less or more of a pittance, you would technically be "forced" to work for close to nothing because you won't have the choice to do otherwise. That's exactly what's happening with the minimum wage and people with no education. They can't work for themselves because they lack that capacity, and are stuck accepting $7/h because that's the only thing they can have (that, or crime, I guess). It would take extraordinary courage to pay your employees more than "you have to", even if sometimes that's the right thing to do for the company and the country (notice how Seattle isn't dying off right now, and how Ford helped bring a middle-class to America).

Re:sure, works for France (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47534861)

I am correct in both, theory and practice not because of what you may or may not be able to negotiate with an employer but because your vacation pay is part of your total compensation.

Without laws and regulations it is up to you to negotiate. With the laws and regulations it is already negotiated for you, you have no choice but to accept part of your compensation in vacation/sick days rather than in hourly wage.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47534831)

Your total compensation is just it. You can negotiate to be compensated in dollars, pieces of silver, gallons of milk, condoms or paid vacation days, but all of these are part of total price of your labour and where you get something, you lose something somewhere else.

I would not say that it's part of your compensation if there was a law that said that everyone should have at least x number of paid days off.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47534853)

Before you make another comment on this, think, where is the money coming from to pay for your vacation? You think it's coming out of your employer or out of your own productivity? Obviously (well, it should be obvious) that it is coming out of your productivity. That means that you are compensated in those vacation days rather than any other form of compensation that you might have negotiated with your employer.

Your vacation days are just your wages that are not given to you as money.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 months ago | (#47534923)

I understand your point but I can't see how vacation could even be a factor when negotiating salaries. Salaries are primarily negotiated based on supply and demand, and when no one can be denied their paid vacation that factor doesn't matter anymore.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47535013)

But of-course it matters, what it does it lowers your expected salary across the board. Sure, it's market rate on top of a government mandated minimum but that's a mandated minimum that is not supplanted by a higher wage (like the minimum wage law is irrelevant from point of view of your rate if your rate is higher than the minimum wage, though it is not irrelevant if you realise that minimum wage pushes many prices of products you buy up and thus robs you of your purchasing power all in the name of hiding inflation created by the government in the first place) but in fact the minimum mandated vacation days are actually part of your total compensation.

My point is that in a system where government sets minimum vacation days your hourly wage is lower than it would have been otherwise. If a government comes out with another law that increases the number of paid vacation days your employer will likely not reduce your salary directly right away (though I would) but instead most employers will work this out by reducing your bonuses / raises and by attrition, where the new employees would start with a lower hourly wage and/or other benefits and/or with fewer raises, etc.

Basically again, money doesn't come from nowhere, the law of conservation of energy still applies. Your productivity commands your total compensation and your government mandated vacation days are paid to you in lie of hourly wages.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

Tim99 (984437) | about 2 months ago | (#47535169)

Vacation time is not something that government can force an employer to add on top of your salary, it is your salary, it is just a different way to pay you.

I don't know for sure about France but in many European countries vacation is by law on top of your salary, so you're still getting your normal paycheck when you're on vacation. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case in France as well.

In Australia, many employees are on a government mandated award. This has minimum salaries, overtime payments and holidays - So if you are say, a waiter or a retail assistant, you know what your minimum conditions will be.
Most awards enforce a payment of 117.5% of your salary when you are on holiday (20 days + 10 days public holidays) because most people spend more when they are on holiday.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

Teun (17872) | about 2 months ago | (#47535199)

I'm not so sure about this 'on top of your salary'.

In The Netherlands a minimum vacation of four weeks is the law, the payment during this period is a deferred payment.

Meaning an annual salary is calculated and the first 6 months of the year 1/13th of it is kept back for payment of salary during your holidays.
The 1/13th of other 6 months are advanced.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 2 months ago | (#47535195)

You want to get medical insurance through your employer then your hourly rate is going to be lower, same with any tax.

Back in the '50s my father voted in favor of a proposal by his union to accept medical benefits instead of a raise in the hourly rate. Years later, he told me he considered it one of the best decisions he ever made.

Re:sure, works for France (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47535275)

Well of-course you should be able to negotiate how you want to get your compensation, but that's the point. What if government came out with a law telling you that you absolutely cannot negotiate the terms, you cannot be paid in medical insurance but instead you have to always be compensated in government bonds?

The reason that it was a good deal for your father was because the part of the total compensation that was the medical insurance was not taxed the same way as money. Income taxes didn't apply to that part of the compensation. The other reason was all the changes that government introduced related to health care and insurance, especially (if this was the USA) in 1965, with the introduction of Medicare, the prices went up because of government money in health insurance. The last reason is of-course inflation. The government likes to pretend that there is no inflation, but the reality is quite different. Inflation is rampant, so getting the same good (as a percentage value of the total compensation package) today as 60 years ago for example means that you are able to escape the horrific effects of inflation as well.

I didn't say you shouldn't be able to be paid in vacation days or in insurance or in gallons of milk. All I am saying is that you should be able to make those choices for yourself and not have government dictate to you how to get paid.

Re:sure, works for France (0)

dcollins (135727) | about 2 months ago | (#47535295)

"Vacation time is not something that government can force an employer to add on top of your salary"

Demonstrably false.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534489)

I can't be the only person who drinks wine for lunch in America.

Re:sure, works for France (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534531)

You can do that in the US too. Just in the other order.

Drink Wine at lunch => More "vacation" time :)

Re:sure, works for France (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 2 months ago | (#47534633)

funny!

Re:sure, works for France (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534713)

Pretty happy with my vacation. Just under the average for France (31 days). I get 28 days vacation, 10 holidays, 1 personal day, 15 sick days, adn depending on what field experiments I go on 4-8 extra comp days per year.

Re:sure, works for France (1)

Teun (17872) | about 2 months ago | (#47535213)

How the hell can you predict these 15 sick days?

sure, works for France (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534331)

Offer them a payrise for not having MS Office, about 20% of the amount you've saved.

Re:sure, works for France (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534431)

the users will whine, "it's not Microsoft???"

From my experience, only some of the users will do that... typically the edge users that have to deal with other people that use Microsoft Office. The fact that everyone (in France) has to deal with people using Libreoffice isn't going to annoy anybody but Microsoft because interoperability is just a website away [webodf.org] .

Re:sure, works for France (1)

CQDX (2720013) | about 2 months ago | (#47534551)

That was true until MS brought the ribbon then it was "Why is IT forcing me to upgrade?"

Now it's happening again with the latest Office with their Metro-ized GUI.

First thing I did when I got a new shiny laptop with Office 2013 was install LibreOffice so I can focus on working, and not relearning how to do my usual tasks with a new UI.

Actually what I really did first was install VMWare and get Xubuntu installed but you get my point.

Good to hear (2, Informative)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 2 months ago | (#47534263)

Germany experienced both sides of the coin: http://www.infoworld.com/d/ope... [infoworld.com]

The French police seem to have had a good amount of success as well: http://www.zdnet.com/french-po... [zdnet.com]

There are probably always going to be use cases for the majority of users to be fine with Open or Libre office. Some specialized functionality in finance might merit excel. There is nothing I've found on Linux that easily replaces Visio or Project ( libre-project is fine for reading, but I've had many issues with creating them). It's what I use at home (lubuntu). At work, I do have to say I prefer Outlook/Exchange for integrated mail and calendar, but I could probably live without Word/Excel/PPT.

Here's to hoping Libreoffice and the other forks can continue to expand and refine their software.

Re:Good to hear (3, Informative)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 2 months ago | (#47534295)

Most of what I've ever had to use it for was pretty simple so genuinely asking here; is Dia [sourceforge.net] not a good Visio replacement? Are there features in Visio that make it more attractive for even simple stuff or is it that Visio has advanced features that haven't been replicated elsewhere?

Re:Good to hear (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 2 months ago | (#47534527)

It's native objects can look rather childish, look at the cloud object that looks like something from ms paint for an example. But the big issue for me is it's missing the tools built around visio. Network discovery being the big one. Sure could I hack something together to use an existing tool and get the objects into Dia. I may be wrong as it's been awhile since I looked at it.

Re:Good to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534379)

There is nothing I've found on Linux that easily replaces Visio or Project

Doesn't surprise me at all. Neither of them are really good tools. In most cases it's quicker and easier to work on a whiteboard and redraw the entire thing for each iteration compared to struggle with those tools.

Re:Good to hear (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 months ago | (#47535033)

From your first link, with emphasis addd:

Five years and at least $600,000 on, with unhappy staff complaining of interoperability problems with Microsoft Office documents, city administrators called in a consultant from a Microsoft partner to support the city council in fixing the problem. The solution proposed: a complete reversal of course, switching back to Microsoft Office for a sum of at least $500,000, with a $360-per-seat cost for licensing Microsoft Office and no firm estimates for undoing the earlier migration.

There are no details on what the "interoperability" problems were. Was it features lacking in LibreOffice? Was it bugs in LibreOffice? The article doesn't say.

If businesses actually pooled their resources they could actually get LibreOffice "fixed" -- but they would rather piss money away on licensing costs.

Re:Good to hear (1)

xeno (2667) | about 2 months ago | (#47535077)

Visio... ugh. I have a love-hate relationship with Visio, and got off the train at Visio 2010 -- which is ok, because it runs acceptably under Wine.

Some detail: At work I have a major publication based on about 50 complex diagrams in Visio, now in its 5th edition over the past 5 years. Originally drafted using 2003, the move to 2010 was annoying but acceptable, as it brought no discernible benefit but took away no features I needed. I was also ok with 2010 because it runs acceptably under Wine, which means I can load it at home where I much prefer Linux.
Since I work somewhere near Redmond, I got pushed to 2013, and I find it completely dysfunctional. The interface is hideous, object manipulation is difficult and requires many extra clicks for common tasks... and FFS the PDF rendering is totally broken. Even our IT and product support can't get pub-quality resolution out of the v2013 PDF engine. For a while I used Visio 2013 + GhostScript to generate acceptable PDFs because the file format incompatibilities between 2010 and 2013 made it a PITA to roll back, but there were other problems with that and eventually I just rolled back to 2010.

Upshot: If you're content with Visio 2010, then I'd say to use it on Windows or Linux as you prefer.
But Visio 2013 has regressed in UI and functionality to the point where I prefer to use DIA on Linux.

IT support costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534267)

I am interested in knowing what other costs have gone up and down. It's not really fair to post an article saying how much money a company is saving directly by migrating from Microsoft Office suite to LibreOffice; too much room for unfair bias. It would be more fair if they would show how they are saving that much money and the before and after of other seemingly non-related software.

I'm sure that the switch is actually saving money, but just curious about other expenses, that's all.

And... (2, Insightful)

Stargoat (658863) | about 2 months ago | (#47534273)

And how much time was lost from (1) employees needing to learn a new system, (2) reintegrating email onto a new client platform, and (3) finding a new way to conduct patching. (Microsoft, for all their deficiencies, is better than its competitors at keeping patches up-to-date. I'm looking at you, Apple.)

I'm not saying that the move may not be correct in terms of dollars and sense, but please answer these questions before blowing sunshine up my ass.

Re:And... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534323)

Item #1 assumes the public workers were doing any work to begin with. The cost to pay an public employee to sit in front of Microsoft Office doing nothing is likely the same pay they would get in front of LibreOffice or a blank terminal.

Re:And... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534333)

This. I think half my company--including those associates in France--would die of a heart attack if we took Outlook away from them.

Re:And... (2, Informative)

Knightman (142928) | about 2 months ago | (#47534359)

Regarding point 1, I think users are relieved that there is no fscking ribbons in LibreOffice which makes it much easier to transition...

Re:And... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534371)

And how much time was lost from (1) employees needing to learn a new system

You're talking about the ribbon, right?

Re:And... (4, Informative)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 2 months ago | (#47534407)

Well, if you read TFA (no, I'm not new here) they have a sidebar call out that answers your question...

"Software licenses for productivity suites cost Toulouse 1.8 million euro every three years. Migration cost us about 800,000 euro, due partly to some developments. One million euro has actually been saved in the first three years. It is a compelling proof in the actual context of local public finance," says Monthubert.

So about 8K in migration costs vs. 18K in licensing. Assuming another 2-3K of unforeseen support over training issues or missing features that haven't been caught yet it should be a significant savings. And if you factor in the migration cost as a one time payment and assume support costs go down over time as people get used to the new system than the savings become very large indeed after the three years cited in the article.

Re:And... (5, Interesting)

dskoll (99328) | about 2 months ago | (#47534449)

In my small company, we all use Linux on the desktop. Here are our answers:

Time to learn a new system: It took my employees maybe a day to learn LibreOffice (they already new MS Office). Anyone who needs more than a day to come up to speed with casual use of LibreOffice is too stupid to be employable, IMO.

Reintegrating mail onto a new client platform: Well, I just said "Here's your email program" and gave them Claws Mail. They were up and running in about 30 minutes. Again, anyone who cannot learn a simple graphical mail client in a day or so is too stupid to be employable.

Keeping patches up-to-date: One word for you: apt-get

Re:And... (2, Informative)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47535145)

In my small company, we all use Linux on the desktop.

I really see no reason for using MS Office if you're a small company.

However, for large companies, collaboration tools, internationalization of documents, corporate-wide style hints, advanced spreadsheet macros, shareable diagram objects, integrated calendars, meeting room tracking, distribution policy enforcement, etc. are important, and just aren't quite there on most of the alternatives. Google Docs does a reasonable job at some of that, but not all.

Put some of the money back in... (4, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 2 months ago | (#47534285)

The exemptions were given because some Word macros and sophisticated Excel files could not be reproduced in LibreOffice or other open source productivity suites. These are examples of what Serp calls “some less mature features” in free software: “When it comes to making some kinds of presentations, for example, there is often a little extra to do [compared to the same process in PowerPoint]. So for some people the process is not so clear, and this can cause adaptability problems in everyday work.”

How about they use some of the saved money to either donate or contribute code to make the software work better?

Instead we have companies and other organizations making and saving tens of billions of dollars off Open Source(like Google, Yahoo, Red Hat, Facebook, Twitter, Apple etc.) and then we end up with catastrophic security nightmares like HeartBleed because no one could be bothered to send a couple of bucks over to the overburdened couple of folks that everyone relies on for security. And then we have asshats on message boards like this one who likely never contributed to OpenSSL or looked at the code for bugs but feel entitled to call the coders stupid for the bugs after the fact.

Re:Put some of the money back in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534381)

Wrong. I called them stupid for yelling at everyone who wasn't part of the group.

They actively isolated themselves as wizards of SSL, and no mere mortal should even bother.

They declared themselves the best, anyone else unworthy.

It wasn't a case of nobody looked, it was a project run by ego driven ass hats who could not play well with others.

It only took them once to no longer be the wizards, and have their libraries forked. Had they not been gigantic douche nozzles to the world, maybe they would still be *the* option to use.

Re:Put some of the money back in... (1)

koreanbabykilla (305807) | about 2 months ago | (#47534609)

hear, hear! PWNed by Theo and friends and soon to be PWNed by Google.

Re:Put some of the money back in... (3, Funny)

carrier lost (222597) | about 2 months ago | (#47534997)

"Conan, what is good?"

"To see your enemies driven before you, to have their libraries forked and to hear the lamentation of their wizards"

Re:Put some of the money back in... (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 2 months ago | (#47535087)

Points!

Re:Put some of the money back in... (2)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 2 months ago | (#47534555)

Isnt that the point of FOSS that users dont need to give back? If they need to give back anything, might as well use a paid software.

Re:Put some of the money back in... (1)

Kidbro (80868) | about 2 months ago | (#47534593)

Isnt that the point of FOSS that users dont need to give back?

No, the point is that the users should have the source, so they can fix it if it's broken. Everything else is optional.

Re:Put some of the money back in... (4, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | about 2 months ago | (#47534755)

No, FOSS is about freedom, not being free of charge.

The Free Software movement was started when Richard Stallman got annoyed because he couldn't make his own modifications to a printer driver.

It's TCO, not licenses only (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534297)

Sure you saved on paying NO licenses, but if none old stuff is compatible (formulas, formats), or you're functionality is limited (macros, embeds), or the feature plain sucks (track changes in Office > Libre), then how much more work are your employees doing? Likely more and you'll end up in a zero sum game.

Forgot, we're talking about France. Workers need something to do.

Can't fix limited functionality in MS. $1M / year (5, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47534417)

> or you're functionality is limited, or the feature plain sucks

Our experience is the cost of limited functionality in off-the-shelf software is a significantly higher cost than the license cost.
With the old proprietary system, an employee would spend 4 hours each Friday copying and pasting from one program to another.
With the new modular open source software, I spent an hour authoring a module to completely automate the data transfer, and have it happen in real time.

For just that one little function alone, this year we saved 4 hours X 52 weeks X ~$40/hr = $8,320 per year.
I do one of those every week. A little change to the software for a big change in the process. I'd be surprised if we haven't saved at least $1 million / year total, from all the little tweaks, correction, and additions we've done to the open source software to make our process better, faster, more efficient, and more accurate. I know the P/L from the from the program using the open source stuff sure has improved, but it's hard to quantify how much of that is due to the software. I could easily prove it's saved at least as much as my salary though, and my salary was being paid when we had the proprietary software too, for a specialist who was paid to admin the system and figure out hacks to get the proprietary system to almost meet our needs using duct tape and bubble gum.

Re:It's TCO, not licenses only (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47534529)

no, we're talking about government. workers need something to do.

Re:It's TCO, not licenses only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534829)

Pretty sure they mentioned the additional costs: 800k Euro to migrate, 1.8M Euro saved in licenses. Net 1M Euro saved.

Re:It's TCO, not licenses only (2)

xeno (2667) | about 2 months ago | (#47535165)

or the feature plain sucks (track changes in Office > Libre)

Huh? Have you used a recent version of LOffice? The track-changes feature in LO is considerably more elegant than MSOffice, both visually (in page view you still see the tagged and ordered comments/changes while displaying an accurate representation of the print view), and logically (I can reply by comment on a comment in LO, and record the justification for edits as the comments are ordered in a threaded conversation. And you don't lose the comments if you select and type instead of explicitly deleting text. By contrast in MSOffice, if you overwrite a section with track changes turned on, it always deletes the comments that went with the old text -- so MSOffice only has "track SOME changes."

I know it's a minor issue, but that in that respect, LO wins hands-down.

Libre Office is horrible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534305)

It just is and it doesnt hold a candle to MS-Office. Now, if they swtiched to LateX and R we could praise Toulouse's awesomenes

Blah (-1, Troll)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 months ago | (#47534321)

Great, they save $100/employee/year. If the employees spend an entire 2-3 hours of their time / year dealing with the piece of shit that is Libre Office, it's already a stupid business decision.

Unless they're writing very, very basic papers in the word processor, it's a stupid business decision.

Re:Blah (2)

nine-times (778537) | about 2 months ago | (#47534433)

Of course, the employees probably already spend 2-3 hours/year dealing with the piece of shit that is Microsoft Office. They probably also devote some amount of IT time and resources to dealing with licensing and activation issues, additional troubleshooting associated with imaging and installation procedures, etc.

Actually, really, I'm not being fair. MS Office is not a piece of shit. It's a really good application, though the whole installation/licensing/activation thing can be a bit of a nightmare at times. LibreOffice is also a very good application that most people could use as their office suit without serious difficulties. Mostly people just get upset because people know it's free. The fact that it's cheap makes them think it's "cheap" in the sense of "flimsy" and "poor quality", so they resent being moved onto it. That seems to be the single largest issue, in my experience.

Re:Blah (1)

digsbo (1292334) | about 2 months ago | (#47534597)

Yep. I was explaining to an old-headed unix guy that I use Linux at home, and he didn't believe me, and called it cheap shit, etc., etc. (he railed against Linux, being an old school Unix guy), so I brought my laptop in and showed him, especially OpenOffice (this was a few years ago). He said he was surprised at how professional it seemed. All preconceived notions, which a five minute demo swept away.

Re:Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534441)

Funny, I say the same about MSO, Word in particular. For example, getting an image with caption where you want it is *still* a PITA in Word. In Writer, you have much more control and it's much clearer what's happening.

For me, Word is simply not worth its money. On the contrary: it costs the company more than its license. I'm more productive with LibreOffice. YMMV.

Lying Republicans want to steal our healthcare! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534349)

Oh wait, it's the detestable Democrats lying. How about that? What a fucking surprise! Lying Democrats? Who could believe this?

Oh course they are trying now to say that the subsidy afforded to states to setup exchanges and withheld from those who do not was a typo. Get that? 1000s of pages and they made a typo. This of course due to a court ruling that says that those who signed up via the federal exchange cannot get subsidies because of - get this - the wording in the legislation - has to stand.

Which of course will bankrupt Obamacare in short order. But they can't have that, so you see Democrat stooges saying things like "“I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake. People make mistakes. Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it,” Gruber told The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn. “But there was never any intention to literally withhold money, to withhold tax credits, from the states that didn’t take that step. That’s clear in the intent of the law and if you talk to anybody who worked on the law. My subsequent statement was just a speak-o—you know, like a typo.”

http://reason.com/blog/2014/07/25/obamacare-architect-jonathan-gruber-says

And here we have the same dirtbag earlier saying;

"But I don't know that for sure. And that is really the ultimate threat, is, will people understand that, gee, if your governor doesn't set up an exchange, you're losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens."

Does that sound like a speak-o to you? Sounds like a two faced lying looter to me.

You know damned well it isn't. These fucksticks are lying through their teeth.

But hey, who gives a fuck, the law is what the preznit says it is, he is our lord and our king! He will save us from those rich evil Republicans who seek only to make all poor people sick and die.

Right?

So who out there has even a smidgen of intellectual honesty? Lying administration. Lying cocksuckers in congress. Lying apparatchiks to the left and to the right. All designed to bring tyranny upon our land, to enslave the people and to force state run healthcare down our throats. All this for power.

You want a law? Write it to say what you want and sell that to the people honestly and with true words. That is too much to ask?

But we know what all you progressive assholes will say, anything to support the regime and to put those evil constitution loving bastards in their place.

I hate you stupid fucks more and more each day.

The real question (2)

Starteck81 (917280) | about 2 months ago | (#47534373)

The real question is, what is the long term impact to productivity and work flow? Sure you can save money up front by switching to a different software suite but that doesn't matter if it disrupts your business in a significant way. Before the shouting starts I'm not implying that there is anything wrong. I'm would like to see an actual study done to determine the effect.

Re:The real question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534437)

It's a municipality. In France.

Productivity doesn't enter into the equation.

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534711)

Just wait and see how much they save on BYOD.

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534865)

Zero.
As far as 99% of users are concerned, Libre Office does the same things Microsoft Office does.

Just for laughs, make a Firefox shortcut look like the Internet Explorer one, and let people try it, telling them it's a new version. Most of the time, they won't even notice the difference. Actually, I tried it and it worked, but it didn't feel funny.

Re:The real question (1)

watcher-rv4 (2712547) | about 2 months ago | (#47534947)

It's sounds very funny to me.

Re:The real question (1)

myrdos2 (989497) | about 2 months ago | (#47535015)

In my experience, the opposite tends to be true. You initially get the cost of deploying a new platform and training users, then the savings kick in over the long term.

they just got confused.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534387)

thinking "libreoffice" was french-made.

Re:they just got confused.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534485)

LibreOffice is a descendent of StarOffice which was German-made. Close enough. France and Germany are good buddies these days.

Reality - Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534533)

Unfortunately reality isn't that easy.

Support will take a hit.. Instead of hiring 10 cheap indians do do your so called support and reinstalls, you need to hire talented staff to handle this new and open source product which costs a lot in higher wages, training if any, etc..

People always neglect support and repairs..

Re:Reality - Support (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 2 months ago | (#47534761)

Really? It's just as easy to install LibreOffice as it is to install MS Office.

Re:Reality - Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535193)

It is actually easier.

No activation or piracy checks first.

Re:Reality - Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535173)

More repairs are need for Windows - every virus/worm/malware varient, licenses, reinstall ...

they didn't "neglect support and repairs".

The Captain and Me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534539)

Are Taking It to the Streets, that which Was Once Vices Are Now Habits, so watch for the Stampede, especially you Living on the Fault Line, because your are One Step Closer every Minute By Minute.

Freeloaders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534565)

Will they be donating any of that 1 million euros towards LibreOffice development?

Munich did it already (3, Interesting)

WoOS (28173) | about 2 months ago | (#47534707)

Munich decided to move completely to Linux [wikipedia.org] (so not only from MS Office on MS Windows to LibreOffice on MS Windows) 10 years ago and managed to complete the move last year. One of the main complaints of users seems to be lack of compatibility when exchanging documents with the MS world.
Now if more cities move to Open/LibreOffice, companies trading with them might have to produce more compatible documents and MS might finally loose its compatibility "strangle" on its user.

Munich did it already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535125)

Use rtf. Never had a problem swapping documents with this format.

French dialog boxes (1)

Snufu (1049644) | about 2 months ago | (#47534757)

Do you want to save the changes to your document before surrendering?

Re:French dialog boxes (2)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#47534987)

i wonder if members of the french resistance would get angry over hearing that tired goddamn joke time and time again? Anger in the
Buzz Aldrin punching a dude in the face for saying the moon landing was a fraud.. that type of anger.

administrative operations (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47534787)

For local government purposes the city is part of Toulouse Métropole (“Greater Toulouse”), which includes 37 neighbouring communities and has a total population of around 714,000. Toulouse Métropole employs some 10,000 staff to manage its administrative operations.

I don't know much about local government in the US or France. But that seems like a heck of a lot of administrators for that number of people.

Re:administrative operations (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 months ago | (#47534933)

"Administrative operations" is everything a governemnt does.

Re:administrative operations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535017)

Guess they aren't trying to turn into an Administrative State. Far better than the US Police State we're aiming for.

Re:administrative operations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535055)

1.4% for governance is quite low. Just think about what percentage of your company is dedicated to administration.

genuinely curious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534911)

No experience with LibreOffice. How do you automate detection and deployment of important security updates with LibreOffice across the enterprise? I suppose if you have System Center (assuming Windows based) you can manually package an update and push it out. Is there an easy way to centrally control the application?

Re:genuinely curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535211)

You would have to define "centrally control the application".

If you mean "centrally control distribution", then the answer is yes. RH for instance uses repositories. Update the repository - the next time the specific host checks for updates it will get them.

Producitivy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535069)

Hello, how about savings or losses in productivity from having to convert all the documents or not being able to read stuff sent from other places who are insistant on MS Word?

I'm not saying I think this is stupid, bit, you have to look beyond the license costs if you want to convince people it's a good idea to switch. For me I just stick with Apache OpenOfice because I DO NOT NEED MS Word. I have Pages on the Mac as well, so I'm good.

EMAIL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535109)

Pine and telnet ?

In my experience email is the single biggest business tool. What are these people using?

I can only assume that job roles are becoming so very pigeon-holed now - and so very automated in function as to use an 'office suite' for document creation and a ticketing system / xMS underlying application for everything else. Including minimal email.

Is this where we (are) (heading), away from general email / collaboration of the old fashioned 'letter' and 'room booking' sense and into a semi-automatic process driven / management system. Everyone is a call centre employee with canned responses, deadlines and baron walls. Where you can't ping ideas (or novels!) back and forth, because they become tracked time-assets.

I suppose rather than an email client on our phones, we will have an integrated-work-tool.

Makes sense, I guess - perhaps Exchange / Outlook has run it's course. Perhaps there is another way. The transition of being able to do the things that Exchange /Outlook allow you to do is hard. I suspect many hardcore excel users won't find an alternative.

Not that I love MS Office. I just have it in my blood now. I have never found anything better than the Outlook / Exchange combo for outright business usage. (I'm not talking global mega corp I'm talking joe-business)

drunk.

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