Personally I think opensource software is great but, and it is a BIG but, you have to use it in the right circumstances or you could end up with some hefty bills. This was illustrated last week by a new client.
Said client (lets call him Jim) started business five years ago and being short of funds decided to go down the opensource route to gain the software he needed for his business (opensource software is great in the right situation). He decided to buy a refurbished laptop and install Ubuntu on it because one of his friends said it was where the market was heading. For emails he installed Evolution (very good email client which I personally use) and Openoffice as his office suite.
Once installed he was very happy, that is until last week. Last week Jim managed to get himself a new contract with a pretty big corporate client who uses Office 365. After seeing what Office 365 offers he is now interested in switching across but there is one major problem – migrating emails from Evolution into Office 365. Evolution to Mozilla Thunderbird is easy enough and you can go from Evolution through Outlook Express to Outlook but it is not exactly easy (especially since Outlook Express is no longer available on a Windows 8.1 system which he has gone out and bought). At the present time the migration is still a work in progress!!
A bit of forward planning on his part would have seen that while Evolution is a really good Linux email client (like I said I use it for my own emails) there are some issues if and when you come to migrate to Outlook which at the moment is the market leader in business email clients.
Using software (and or hardware) because they are cheap, or free, is not necessarily the best option (neither is buying things because they are expensive and hence must be better). Opensource software is fantastic in the right circumstances but in this case it is going to cause the client some migration issues and hence cost them more money.
About the Author
Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in Stirling and Falkirk.
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