In August this year, the city of Munich completed its two-year switch to Kolab, an open source based suite of groupware and collaboration tools such as email and calendaring. Across the city’s 50 departments there are now some 60,000 Kolab mail boxes, said Kolab CEO Georg Greve at a conference for the IT departments of the European Commission and European Parliament, in Brussels on Tuesday.
“Kolab proves that open source is technically equally viable to or even ahead of proprietary groupware”, CEO Greve said. “Being completely open source, the value added by Kolab is the freedom to run it in your own datacentre. Public administrations don’t have to give up control over their emails, their documents, or their citizen’s data.”
At the conference in Brussels, Greve explained that the software is made available completely as open source, and that the company offers enterprise support. “Making it available as open source lets the market grow as fast as possible. It also allows others to contribute and to innovate. Europe’s governments should prefer growing a vibrant ecosystem of local ICT champions over a few proprietary monopolists.”
Munich is one of the world’s best known public administrations using open source. The city famously uses over 17,000 PC workstations running Kubuntu 14.04, LibreOffice 4.1. The city is sharing as open source Wollmux, it’s document templates and form manager, and also makes available as open source Gosa², the LDAP management tool, FAI, software for Fully Automated Installation, and DAK - a set of tools to manage a repository of software packages.
Following the elections in 2014, rumours persist that the city is considering reverting to proprietary software solutions. The city council in 2015 reiterated its support for the city’s open source strategy.