The administration of the city of Munich in Germany has completed the switch to the open source desktop, says Peter Hofmann, head of the migration project last week Wednesday. The IT department is now securing the strategy, to make sure it can be maintained by the city and to sustainably support interactions with citizens, businesses and other public authorities.
Hofmann, speaking at the Linux Tag conference in Berlin on 22 May, is confident that the city's open source strategy can be maintained because it is focused on sustainability. "We took small steps, instead of a big bang approach. We prefer quality over time and choose making it ourselves over waiting or spending."
The city is now using a unified desktop system, Limux, its own distribution based on the Ubuntu Linux open source operating system and open source applications, on 14,000 of the total 15,000 desktops, spread over 51 offices across the city. That is 2,000 more than it's intended goal, using Limux on 80 % of its desktops. Hofmann confirmed that the city will now switch to using the LibreOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools, replacing the current open source alternative OpenOffice, that is used since 2006.
The project has from the start in 2005 invested in change management and communication. "Acceptance and support by the city's public servants is most important to us." he said in Berlin.
The past decade, the city gradually upgraded the majority of its business applications to web-based or java-based solutions that can run on any underlying computer system (preferred solution) or to applications, that can run natively on linux. It also consolidated and migrated hundreds of document macros, templates and forms.
Hofmann stressed that saving money was never the primary aim. However, he said that moving to open source saved the city over 10 million euro so far.