Eliminating Barriers to OpenOffice.org Adoption


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In most countries, OpenOffice.org attempts to penetrate markets that are already occupied by similar proprietary products.

A strategy for promoting adoption must look at all the barriers that need to be overcome to ensure a level playing field that will allow the advantages of OpenOffice.org to be valued. The strategy must ensure that the right product is available (good complete localization of OpenOffice.org with help, adaptation, spell-checker). For the education system, it must revise official school curricula to ensure that they do not name specific products, and study which textbooks (according to local curricula) need to be developed to be able to replace others that teach using proprietary software. Similarly, it is important to have free course materials that service companies can use to easily put OpenOffice.org training as one of their products.

While independent procurement of software tends to be strongly affected by marketing, to the advantage of proprietary software companies who have large marketing budgets, when ICT policy is made by countries (National ICT policy) or education systems (ICT in Education policies or plans), decisions have an opportunity to be more rational, with clear measurement of cost-effectiveness, and in some cases end up supporting the use of FOSS. To support this work, it is required to develop documents that show the comparative advantages of OpenOffice.org

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Eliminating Barriers to OpenOffice.org Adoption

  1. 1. Eliminating Barrier to OpenOffice Adoption Javier Solá WordForge Foundation
  2. 2. Development of IT <ul><li>Starts in the same way in countries and companies.
  3. 3. A few start, and the structure is built on what exists already. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Migration <ul><li>Proprietary soft and FOSS compete following market rules. </li><ul><ul><li>Barriers to change are too important. Hard to produce change. </li></ul></ul></ul>Migration to Free Software only works when users have no freedom.
  5. 5. Barriers <ul><li>Policy </li><ul><ul><li>Curricula, formats, procedures </li></ul></ul><li>Technical </li><ul><ul><li>Long to change or high cost because developed materials for competing products available
  6. 6. Existing applications force other platforms.
  7. 7. De-facto standards </li></ul></ul><li>Inertia </li><ul><ul><li>Users claim lose of productivity </li></ul></ul><li>Active resistance </li><ul><ul><li>Pontification, Corruption, External motivation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Barriers are eliminated through <ul><li>Policy
  9. 9. Product
  10. 10. Materials </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy
  11. 11. Training
  12. 12. CHANGE </li></ul>
  13. 13. Eliminating Barriers with Policy Creating high level policy and supporting it with resources <ul><li>Countries </li><ul><ul><li>National ICT policy </li></ul></ul><li>Ministries of Education </li><ul><ul><li>ICT in Education Policies </li></ul></ul><li>Organizations </li><ul><ul><li>Organizational development strategy
  14. 14. ICT Strategy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Policies that work: <ul><li>Mandate use of open standards.
  16. 16. Mandate procurement policies based on cost effectiveness.
  17. 17. Directly mandate the use of FOSS products.
  18. 18. Include a migration process.
  19. 19. Integrate changes in the training structures. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Reduce barriers through an adequate product <ul><li>In emerging markets in which proprietary software has not found efficient to adapt their product. </li><ul><ul><li>It is possible to have better software. </li></ul></ul><li>In established markets </li><ul><ul><li>Must ensure that adaptation is not an advantage for proprietary software. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Eliminating Barriers with Materials <ul><li>Promotion and distribution materials. Image of professionalism through brochures and CDs.
  22. 22. Training material vs. User guide.
  23. 23. Adequate materials to existing training. Get official approval. </li><ul><ul><li>Internal training formats.
  24. 24. Curricula </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Eliminating Barriers through Advocacy <ul><li>Advocacy leads to policy. </li><ul><ul><li>Gaining high moral ground
  26. 26. (defending FOSS as politically correct) </li></ul></ul><li>External advocates -> Internal advocates </li></ul>
  27. 27. Eliminating Barriers through training <ul><li>Must be a key to the plan
  28. 28. Training must adequate for the needs.
  29. 29. It requires resources and preparation
  30. 30. Must have follow up, requiring the use of training received. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Eliminating Barriers through change. <ul><li>Changing training structures
  32. 32. Changing the demand </li></ul>
  33. 33. Conclusions <ul><li>Change is possible.
  34. 34. While there are no recipes for migration, barriers must be identified, and the way to overcome them defined
  35. 35. Not all barriers are solvable. The exceptions must be isolated to avoid their interference with the migration. </li></ul>