a query

Bruce Richardson itsbruce at workshy.org
Thu Mar 13 11:30:00 GMT 2008

On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 11:14:54AM +0100, Luis Motta Campos wrote:
> > If the existing system doesn't do meetings and calendars, which I would
> > think a local council would have as much need for as any organisation,
> > then any open source alternative to Exchange would have to be well
> > researched and supported and even then you would have a fight.  Exchange
> > is unquestionably a bloated resource hog with some odd habits but it
> > offers integrated calendars and webmail and suits usually like it.
> On this subject, I believe that it's possible to have a nice open-source
> alternative to Exchange that works and does the job.

So do I[1].  I'm much less sanguine about the ease of communicating this to
a local council, even in a scenario where the councillors or officials
had not already made a decision.  If the decision makers are clueless
then the chance of persuading them is probably nill.  If they are
competent and capable of hearing the arguments, they should pose tough
questions about support, training, the skill levels required of the
staff who would install and maintain the solution etc.  Anybody hoping
to make this case to them would not only need a well-researched solution
but really would have to have assembled the package (vendors, trainers
etc.)  To be persuasive on top of that, they would need to be an
effective lobbyist or have the services of one.

It's one thing for somebody working in a small or moderate size IT
company to make this case to their own management[2].  It's
significantly harder for the IT department of a non-IT company to make
this case, even when they do have all the necessary skills in house.
When it's an outsider making the case to a non-IT organisation whose IT
department may be actively hostile and who in any case probably don't
have the relevant skill set (or level of skill), you need a lobbyist of
the water-into-wine-while-walking-on-water variety.

[1] Up to a certain scale, anyway.

[2] And even then, senior management may well respond that they don't
want their skilled admins having any distractions from the core
business.  Saying this doesn't necessarily make them idiots, either.


The ice-caps are melting, tra-la-la-la.  All the world is drowning,
tra-la-la-la-la.  -- Tiny Tim.

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