The Greek municipality of Pilea-Hortiatis, just east of Thessaloniki, is migrating all of its PCs to the free and open source suite LibreOffice, with the help of the Greek Linux User Group. Greeklug explains in a statement published on 27 March that it has finished the migration from a proprietary office suite on 91 PCs. Still to be migrated are 45 PCs.
The group reckons that replacing a proprietary office suite with LibreOffice helps the municipal administration to save some 70,000 euro this year alone. The user groups helped the municipality by consulting it on specific language options, spell checking features and extensions.
According to Kostas Mousafiris, the chairperson of the Greeklug, the primary reason, for the administration to switch to LibreOffice "is to escape from the usual IT vendor lock-in. The move to LibreOffice obviously lightens this burden. The move is also relatively easy."
Mousafiris says that the group discussed the migration at length with politicians and the local IT staff. "We convinced them that LibreOffice would meet all their needs, it would ensure the use of open standards with all the benefits of interoperability, safety of the data and guaranteed accessibility in the future. And it would save them significant amounts of money."
In its statement, the Greeklug explains that it hopes that Pilea-Hortiatis's move to LibreOffice will be an example to other Greek public administrations. "This is a promising initiative. It results in substantial savings for the visionary Greek public administration. Not only does it adopt free software on a substantial scale, but it does so using the knowledge and the contribution of a volunteer free software supporting organisation."
Statement by Greeklug (in Greek)