Ministry saves millions by using open source office

The Estonian ministry of the Environment has save millions of Euro over the past ten years by using the open source suite of office application, OpenOffice, says Meelis Merilo, the head of the IT department at the ministry.

Using the open source cost the ministry no more than 64.000 Euro over the past ten years, being simply the annual budget for training users. Had it continued to use a proprietary office suite, the costs for purchasing or renting proprietary software licenses and user training would have ranged between 1.4 and 2.8 million Euro, Merilo showed in a presentation at the Latvian Open Technology Association (LATA), a trade organisation, on 18 January in Latvia’s capital Riga.

Merilo is able to compare the costs for the two office alternatives, for the Estonian ministry used both in parallel for several years. The IT department manages PC workstations for about 1600 employees in the ministry and its agencies across the country. It began a three-year migration process to replace the proprietary office suite by the open source alternative in 2001.

Apart from the savings on licenses, the use of the open source office suite internally reduced issues in exchanging documents. “There still occur some problems when exchanging documents with other government organisations.”

One of the arguments to move to an open source system, said Merilo, is that the ministry needs to preserve many of its files for up to fifteen years and longer. “The document has to be saved in a format which is open, standarised and accessible to everybody, to guarantee that all software producers are able to support the document equally.”

Vendor-independent – Also, he said, when communicating with others, a document format should be used that does not force anyone to use a product from only a single vendor. “That is why in Estonia, we use ODF and PDF to exchange documents, and XML, HTML, PNG and SVG for disseminating information on the Internet.”

“By spending on open source system development, public administrations support local businesses and build-up an vendor-independent IT system. This increases quality and interoperability.”

This article was originally published on Open Source Observatory & Repository Europe.

Related Posts

France warns against using Internet Explorer France has echoed calls by the German government for web users to find an alternative to Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) to protect security. Ce...
Online Access With a Fingerprint A new service developed by a researcher at the University of Southampton makes it possible for users to maintain multiple online accounts using a scan...
Building Effective, Secure Container Delivery Pipelines with Docker, rkt et al. Opinions on how best to package and deliver applications are legion and, like many other aspects of the software world, are subject to recurring trend...
Installing, troubleshooting MongoDB 2.6.4 startup failure on Fedora 20 I've been running MongoDB on Debian-based distribution and haven't had any issue installing or managing it. However, when I tried to set it up on my m...
Silent Mail, FreedomMail or Lavamail. Whatever it’s called, it will offer the same b... Dark Mail alliance is the non-profit group formed by the leaders of Silent Circle and Lavabit. Silent Circle offers a suite of secure, communicatio...
Linpus announces support for MeeGo™ on the connected TV platform Linpus Technologies, Inc., an open source solutions provider based in Taipei, Taiwan, has announced support for MeeGo™ on the connected TV platform. W...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


One Comment

  1. How much did the Estonian ministry contribute for the development of the open source software? Or, in which way do they do so?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*