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Thread: Ubuntu in Business

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu in Business

    I love Ubuntu and want to install it in my office at work, but my supervisors love windows and hate change. So I've been preparing a presentation to show them how well Ubuntu works and why they should invest in it. I currently have:

    1. Cost
    Ubuntu is a lot cheaper than windows because its free. Instead paying a license each computer I install it on, I could be installing a free and powerful. Btw, my supervisors love the word free. This so far is my biggest arguement

    2. Windows Application Support
    If a windows application is needed, it can be support by using Wine or VMware. Also the new release of Ubunutu JeOS should have support for apps in other OS.

    3. Other Business have already switched
    This is where I've done most my research and come up with the least results. Currently Amazon and The French National Assembly have both switched to using Linux, the French National Assembly is currently using Ubuntu.

    4. Powerful and Secure Sever
    Ubuntu can save money by putting it on almost any machine so the current business machines do not neet to be upgraded for Vista(saves mone). Also Ubuntu OS is more secure than Windows and much harder to get a virus.

    5. Contains the Basics for Free
    OpenOffice is just about as powerful as Microsft Office and for free. I'm planning to do my presentation in OpenOffice.

    6. Easy to Manage
    I can easily manage other users computer on a network just by using secure shell.

    So these are the arguements in a nutshell of what I'm planning on presenting to my supervisors. But I still feel like I'm missing important key points so thats why I'm asking here, why would the switch to Ubuntu be a good idea? And to show as examples, what other business use Ubuntu? And that one is key, they like to see it be succesful with other business first before they try it. But finding other business that use Ubuntu is difficult so if anyone has any info on other business that use Ubuntu, that would be much appreciated.
    Last edited by Black Mage; September 23rd, 2007 at 03:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu in Business

    take a look at elvis's post here:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=557812

    he goes into great detail. excellent post.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu in Business

    -Since you've already bought Windows licenses, what is the business justification for trashing that and using Ubuntu?
    -What about re-training people and/or loss due to a drop in productivity while people learn how to use everything?
    -Why not just use OpenOffice on Windows?
    -Wine is simply not a business solution... I use it too, but don't trust it for serious apps. VMware requires a whole new set of Windows licenses, which will increase costs!

    So other than security and shell management, what is the business selling point???


    btw, I prefer Linux (be it Ubuntu, fedora, rhel, etc) over Windows in most cases as well. Linux is an easy sell for servers, but more difficult for existing desktops. If the decision makers don't perceive a problem, then they won't see why they should change.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu in Business

    support would be an issue in a bigger environment.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu in Business

    Quote Originally Posted by PilotJLR View Post
    -Since you've already bought Windows licenses, what is the business justification for trashing that and using Ubuntu?
    -What about re-training people and/or loss due to a drop in productivity while people learn how to use everything?
    -Why not just use OpenOffice on Windows?
    -Wine is simply not a business solution... I use it too, but don't trust it for serious apps. VMware requires a whole new set of Windows licenses, which will increase costs!
    Right now the whole office uses XP, and Vista would be the next upgrade.I would have to buy a license for each computer I put vista on. Vista would also be costly because the company would either have to buy new computer or upgrade the RAM and graphic cards in the current ones.

    And with the VMware, I was thinking of having a server completed dedicated to running VMware with a version of windows, with simultaneous user logins. So Windows won't have to be be bought for each computer in the office.

    Quote Originally Posted by PilotJLR View Post
    -
    support would be an issue in a bigger environment.
    '

    The company I work for has about 100 employees, 1/10 of the amount of the computer in which the French National Assembly had Ubuntu installed onto. So I'm not worried about a huge enviroment, but a good question would be how large an enviroment Ubuntu can support.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu in Business

    Just found an interesting article called "Can Ubuntu Linux really run my small business?"

    One of the authors conclusions is that the Ubuntu community saves him money because it provides IT support. "What is so great about Ubuntu? 'It has the best user community built around it.'"

    I also agree with the author that Ubuntu's biggest shortcoming is that it lacks a good accounting program like Quickbooks.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu in Business

    Honestly, I'd say the main problem with your presentation is a lack of specifics. You need to look at your own company first, and then at external ones to get an idea of how to implement Ubuntu. For example, the point "contains the basics for free" -- does your company need just the basics? Do you have finance guys that require more advanced features in Excel, or accountants with specialized software, or web designers who need Adobe (and so on)?

    You need to think about the people in your company, and map out their specific computing needs. Then, think about whether or not Ubuntu can fill those needs. A survey might be useful here (but don't just ask "do you use a spreadsheet program?" OOo Calc is a great program, but if you're trying to do optimization with it, it can't substitute for an Excel spreadsheet).

    Once you know Ubuntu (maybe combined with VMware for some windows-only programs) can match your needs at a reduced cost, both up front and from a maintenance perspective, then I'd look at other companies. Use their examples to further bolster your argument, and to get an idea of how an Ubuntu network can be set up at your company.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu in Business

    If your computers are running just fine with Windows XP, then I see no reason to propose switching to Ubuntu unless you are on some lock-in scheme like Software Assurance, and that is about to expire. In any case, I would ride it out until the year before support for Windows XP ends. Here's how I would go about the transition to ease the employees into Linux and open-source:

    • 2 years before support ends: Start replacing programs with their open-source equivalents (e.g. IE with Firefox, Office XP with OpenOffice)
    • 1 year before support ends: Make the proposal. Remark: Give your bosses two cases (getting Vista and upgrading where needed or getting Ubuntu and leveraging the current hardware you have now) and compare the costs associated with each one.


    I have attached an outline I did for a class in college called "Engineering Communications." Hope you find that helpful.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Think before you type: If anybody asks you to type anything with rm -rf on the CLI, DO NOT do it! As a matter of fact, if you don't know what a set of commands will do, ask for clarification from other members.
    My home page: www.cyeungrun.com

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu in Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Mage View Post
    Right now the whole office uses XP, and Vista would be the next upgrade.I would have to buy a license for each computer I put vista on. Vista would also be costly because the company would either have to buy new computer or upgrade the RAM and graphic cards in the current ones.

    And with the VMware, I was thinking of having a server completed dedicated to running VMware with a version of windows, with simultaneous user logins. So Windows won't have to be be bought for each computer in the office.
    Why do you feel you MUST upgrade to Vista? XP will supported for several more years. This argument just doesn't hold water.

    For simultaneous logins, you would need a license for Server 2003 + a Terminal Services CAL for each user. If you don't know about TS CAL's, then please research this, as it's a significant expense a lot of people don't plan for until their whole terminal services environment kills itself.


    I'm not trying to shoot down your idea... but I've worked as a Sales Engineer before, so I know what the decision makers want to hear. You have not sold me on this one.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu in Business

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOx View Post
    Honestly, I'd say the main problem with your presentation is a lack of specifics.
    I agree.
    To give yet another exmple : "4. Powerfull and secure server" ) that may be all good and well but what your audience is (or should be) interested in is : can that Ubuntu server offer its clients the same functionality our current servers do. I can't be the judge of that as I don't know your office, but some hurdles might be : Active Directory features your current environment relies on ? File sharing with elaborate user and group permissions ? Printer serving/sharing for possibly linux-incompatible printers ? Microsoft Exchange ? MS-SQL database ? ...

    If you have a plan for all that, the next thing they'll want to know is : what is that migration going to cost ? Ubuntu is free beer, but migrations cost money. Can you prove that the costs of the migration are less than the costs of sticking with windows ?


    As for your sollution to use VMware ore some other virtualisation to offer Windows compatibility : Have a real good look at the Windows EULA's. While you might avoid the cost of a license for the OS on your desktop PC's, you'll still need CAL's for any client accessing your server, and if that server needs to provide sessions for multiple users ("simultaneous user logins"), you might be looking at Terminal Services licenses as well - I'm not too sure you can pull this of with virtualisation alone.

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