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Medicine Open Source Software

25,000 Danish Hospital Staff Moving To LibreOffice 247

Posted by Soulskill
from the freeing-up-the-budget dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news that 25,000 staff across 13 hospitals in Denmark will be switching to LibreOffice over the course of the next year. "The group of hospitals is phasing out a proprietary alternative, 'for long term strategic reasons,' which at the same time saves the group some 40 million Kroner [about $7.7 million] worth of proprietary licenses. The ditching of the proprietary alternative is a consequence of the group's move to virtual desktops, allowing staff members to log in on any PC or thin client. The group found that deploying this new desktop infrastructure would 'trigger unacceptably high costs' for proprietary office licenses... The move is Europe's second largest migration project involving public administrations using an open source office suite."
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25,000 Danish Hospital Staff Moving To LibreOffice

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  • by MacTO (1161105) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @02:28AM (#37159256)

    I've maintained corporate systems which relied heavily upon specialized software, and virtually none of the employees needed an office suite for the official business functions. Yet they insisted upon using such software to jot down quick notes or make quick calculations. Things that they really could have used calculator or notepad for, but they were more productive using the office suite (if for no other reason than they weren't wasting their and our time complaining about it).

    I could easily imagine that being the case here. After all, if the hospitals' operations depended upon that proprietary office suite, it would be a bugger to switch to LibreOffice.

  • Re:Stroking a blow! (Score:3, Informative)

    by nzac (1822298) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @03:21AM (#37159424)

    When your entire company will operate without MS Office i would have to say that this issue is not going to come up for general staff. (LO uses odf not doc.)

    I would think .odf's features would already be implemented in MSO so converting for external use is not terrible.

    Im calling you a 'M$ Ninja![!!!]' for trying to convince everyone that this is actually an issue with no simple work around.

  • Re:Stroking a blow! (Score:4, Informative)

    by tacet (1142479) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @04:07AM (#37159576)

    while, big business can use emacs, for what it's worth, hospitals in denmark, probably need an easy way to produce odf, as it's official standard for denmarks government bodies and lot of documentation flow for hospitals is with government.

    libre office does that, so they can cut expenses on software rather than, say patient care or staff salary.

  • Re:Stroking a blow! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@slashdot.[ ... m ['fir' in gap]> on Sunday August 21, 2011 @04:13AM (#37159604) Homepage

    On the other hand, ODF is the only approved editable format for use by the Danish government (citation: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/it-strategy/2010/02/02/denmark-adopts-odf-and-pdfa-40016263/ [zdnet.co.uk]) in which case your compatibility will actually be better with LO than with MSO.

    Remember these are Danish hospitals, in a country with state funded healthcare... ODF and PDF is what they require compatibility with, not any proprietary garbage... It is actually businesses using MSO who will be at a disadvantage when trying to do business with the government, because MS has extremely half-assed ODF support. So you have the situation backwards, the cost of MSO + the cost of dealing with its poor compatibility with everything else, vs the cost of LO.

    Also the article mentions they are using a virtual desktop infrastructure, whereby they log in on a dumb terminal and a VM server somewhere fires up a desktop image for them and exports the display to their terminal. Now if you consider their requirements, any of those users who don't require any proprietary windows software can be given a linux image with the same software, thus saving the hospital the cost of windows licenses too.

  • by Zironic (1112127) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @04:26AM (#37159660)

    That's pretty much what the article says. They have 25,000 computers, currently 10,000 of them have Office since only a subset of the staff have any need of the software. However when changing to virtual desktops, they'd be required to buy another 15,000 licences according to their vendor, so they said fuck no.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 21, 2011 @04:36AM (#37159712)

    I think that everybody here knows that submitting OOo bugs is an absolute waste of time. Guess what? You still can't group images properly [openoffice.org], Impress doesn't wrap links [openoffice.org], and to rotate an image in writer you have to open Draw to fix it and then paste it back into writer [openoffice.org]. FFS, Impress froze just then when I tried to create a new presentation to see if link wrapping is finally fixed! I know I should be *fixing* these bugs rather than just complaining about them, but who honestly has the time to familiarise themselves with the massive OOo/Libreoffice code base just to fix something so trivial that it should have been fixed years ago?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 21, 2011 @04:53AM (#37159766)

    I had this problem and tracked it down to the document not registering the language. The only way I found to consistently fix it was to highlight all the text and then right click in the bottom centre information bar which displays the language - it'll be blank - and select the language of choice! Good luck.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @07:05AM (#37160172) Homepage

    Let's be more clear on this. We are up to 14 versions of M$ Office, so not free once but free fourteen times and, in those upgrades, hardware upgrades forced by software upgrades forced by data incompatibility and add retraining, data conversions. So either make the switch once or pay and pay and pay.

    Of course with open applications, the idea of open documents also grows. With many different hospitals sharing generic documents and macros, saving development costs and, easing training requirements, this open document development spread not just nationally but globally as language permits. Sharing and caring in document development can save billions just in document production world wide.

  • by WorBlux (1751716) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @09:58AM (#37160884)
    OO required copyright assignment. LO doesn't
  • by impaledsunset (1337701) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @12:33PM (#37161878)

    Try reporting it against LibreOffice then, another management, another attitude towards bug reports. It's much more likely that your issue will be fixed, and by the way that's one of the reasons why LibreOffice is a good idea – fixing what's wrong with OpenOffice.org.

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