October 20, 2014
 
 
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Inside the Novell Linux Migration - page 4

Drinking Their Own Champagne

  • October 6, 2005
  • By Brian Proffitt

When the migration project first started, license management was applied to the Office application suite as well. One early deadline in the project was to have only one Microsoft Office license per employee by March 31, 2004. Given that many employees had more than one workstation, this would mean that either no office application would be on machines, or machines would use OpenOffice.org, regardless of the operating system. Immediately, the cost of Office licenses was cut to nearly a third of its former total.

Another deadline in the project was a mere four months later, when all employees were expected to use OpenOffice.org by July 31 of that same year. Again, this was regardless of platform.

To accomplish this task, Novell users were directed to initially use native OpenOffice.org formats for internal communications, PDF documents for read-only documents sent outside of the company, and Office format documents only for external documents that needed collaboration. Aiding in the transition, Novell's Corporate Communication department created templates in OpenOffice.org that matched existing Office templates.

In making the move, Richards explained, there were very few problems in converting existing Office documents to OpenOffice.org formats. Even documents with highly stylized templates translated well. It helped that the company used tools embedded within the open source office suite to convert whole directories of files en masse.

Some problems did crop up. Novell learned that Office-formatted documents created in OpenOffice.org would not always open well in external users' Office suites. Also, many existing macros had to be re-created, and a substitute for Visual Basic-based macros had to be found.

Novell was able to meet its OpenOffice.org goal, and was more than ready to take on the next challenge: getting Linux on the desktops of its employees.

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