Just some background first,
I work for an environmental NGO in India which has teams in 10 odd locations with a head office. Most locations have upto 5 PC's / and or laptops (PIII's and above) there are some old PII's as well.
Most of the software we use is proprietory read MS related and stuff. There is also an Oracle system - oracle 7 I think.
Our organziations work is community based - very sim ilar in philosophy to the GNu/Linux OS community, only the issues are different.
Over the last few years we have been talking about migrating / shifting/ adopting GNU/Linux OS systems across the organization. This is an environment where most people have grown up with MS and the likes and are also very very untechnical as far as Computers go.
We have a very good GIS lab as well but there too we are stuck with high licensing oosts. We do have some requirements for Video and Audio editing to make simple movies now and in time more quality stuff. (So is it true that Pixar and stuff are on Linux based systems.
I have been promoting GNU/Linux in a big way and felt the way forward was to adopt it in my team first and have done that by convincing my boss to change to FC3 (though he was motivated by Red Hat Michels talk in a conference of the IUCN in Bangkok) but we have two FC3 machines, all the windows machines run Firefox, thunderbird and Open Office.
Now I am supposed to write a note on why the organization should enmass migrate to GNU/Linux.
Some of the important considerations are:
We have a old Oracle System that is proprietory and runs on only WHIMDOWS 98 (or windows 98 as some say). This is common across all locations and is centrally managed from our Heaf Office. SO the question is what are the GNU/Linux alternatives for this and can we migrate to some other Open Source PLatform.
We run pretty much the same harware across locations - so will that be a positive.
Our Head Office has about 50 machines and have a novell network and mail sever running and will continue to need a mail server. Currently they run Pegasus Malil, Mercury 1.4 and is based on a Suse 6.1 server.
There are the usual considerations : Licencesing costs, felxibilty in making them specific , less resource intensive (is this really true ??) and so on.
So can you give me your suggestions as I want to make the note a good one
We have a cell in the organiztion whose main job is to manage the software and hardware - they have a few programmers on board so one of the important points the note would stress on is that we should have a few people who will develop some aspects of GNU/Linux be it Open Office , or a specific localzied distro to meet requirements for our organizations and others like ours. This would be a small contribution to the larger effort and place our computer work in a larger context as well as match our regular work philosophy. Community Based.
Most locations have very poor bandwidth -so that will be a consideration as well. We have a very slow website which we would like to upgrade - and make more interactive and efficent , with it being served from our head office location.
An idea was that we could spread our work across specific distributions - paid and free - Suse is good for the variety of software it has, RH for the stability and FC for the guys wanting to push the limits and check out whats on. Actually once the folks get a hang of the GNU/Linux I guess they will fnd their own way around and some may end up with that terribly happy condition called distro fever.
After that the skys the limit. Further there could be organization specific customization , which is currently being done on Oracle - but with out the worry of not being able to cope with the future licencesing costs.
Finally I would like to say that the reason I am doing this note is not for personal glory or effect - I am not a programmer, and am not likely to be the person doing the hard work. I am an end user and have great faith in Open Source. And the people at fedoraforum is a symbol of this belief.
So guys / and the few gals that are there give in your suggestions or if you have any questions - I'll try and do a good job of helping convert 100 odd machines and 200 odd folks to GNU/Linux.
PS I just read the posts on what will kill Micrisoft - some interesting stuff there