Small Company Saves Big on Linux
"We saved our small business thousands of dollars using Linux instead of Microsoft, and we are saving even now in maintenance and uptime!"
Joe runs a small business that
needed infrastructure at minimal cost. This brief interview sheds
some light on the reality so many face when given the option to buy PCs
that are cheaper than the software suites they run.
ReallyLinux: Joe, give us
some insight how you got into the financial mess?
Joe: We saw some great priced
PCs at the local retailer I mean really great priced PCs -- and purchased
ten systems. These were solid machines to run our business needs on.
RL: So, what happened next?
Joe: Our system administrator was in charge of setting up and getting them ready for our new
employees. A few days later I had a note from him with a check
request for thousands of additional dollars needed for the software to run our PCs! We spent less on all of the Pcs, network hardware, and printers combined!
RL: What were you planning
on doing with the systems?
Joe: Thats where it gets
even more frustrating. It seemed ridiculous that we would need
to pay as much for Microsoft software, in this case Office Pro, so my
staff could be typing letters, printing documents, managing basic spreadsheets,
or making a few presentation slides.
It was disturbing and discouraging
to me that the software was going to cost us more than all of the hardware!
It's hard to run a small business when Microsoft site licenses would run in the hundreds of dollars for each system.
RL: Microsoft offers bulk
prices for licensing. Did you look into prices and options?
Joe: Yes, we talked through
all of the options. The best price we negotiated for Office Pro license
was still far more than all of the hardware we had bought.
RL: What about other
software? Perhaps a simplified suite like MS Works?
Joe: It couldnt do the job.
Everyone kept reminding me that the rest of the world worked in Office
and we would need to be able to exchange data, like emailing power points.
RL: So, is this when you contacted
us about Linux?
Joe: Honestly, no.
I did not consider Linux as a viable option, because we wanted to be compatible
with the rest of the world. Then a friend showed me how Linux included SUNs StarOffice suite which
had word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and among others all for FREE. These tools were all compatible with MS Office and free.
RL: Is this when you moved
Joe: Indeed, yes! For $29
I saw a more stable operating system than Microsoft, with all of the tools
we needed to get the job done, all while remaining compatible with the
rest of the world.
RL: What was the key factor
that sold you to move your business to Linux?
Joe: The factor that sold
me was the fact that StarOffice for Linux allowed me to import and export
Microsoft documents, and spreadsheets, and all this for almost zero cost per machine.
No other alternative offers this deal. We saved our small business thousands of dollars using OpenSource and Linux instead of Microsoft, and we are saving even now in maintenance and uptime!
RL: If you had a chance to
talk to business owners in the same situation, what are some thoughts you
Joe: We have reached a pivotal
time where the PCs are less expensive than the software they run.
This is a terrible barrier to entry for small companies until they consider