This morning saw the announcement by the Italian province of South Tyrol that they would begin a three year migration process to using LibreOffice for all of it’s public administration needs; they apparently use Microsoft products at present. The move is part of a broader strategy to eliminate dependence on monopolistic vendors, reduce costs, become more flexible and support locally based service providers.
You can tell that this is a project with a high likelihood of success because of the extent of the planning that has apparently gone into making the change. Simon’s article “Migrating to Open Source Needs a Plan” laid out some of the reasons why it’s vital that these sorts of migrations are not taken lightly or used simply as a cost cutting measure. When done carefully and with forethought there are rich rewards to be reaped and this South Tyrol migration bears the hall marks of an administration that is making the change in the right way. Gradual phase in, dialogue with and training for unfamiliar users, a changeover budget, these are all signs that this is one migration which is going to meet its aims.
The “Technical Round Table for Open Source” on whose advice this decision seems to have been made have very likely built their proposed changeover plan on the basis of the document foundations own recommendations for migrating to LibreOffice. It will be interesting to watch the progress of this bold move.