Flag of Emilia-RomagnaThe administration of the Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region will switch to the open source OpenOffice productivity suite, Joinup reports. It thus hopes to save some €2 mn. euro on the licences that it would have spent for updating the ubiquitous MS Office suite. To prepare the migration, a three-month pilot involving 300 workstations has started at the region’s Directorate-General for Agriculture; all other regional departments will switch over to OpenOffice by the end of 2014. The region employs some 3,545 office staff.

screenshot of OpenOffice splash screen

The region is currently using a ten year-old version of MS Office. Instead of spending €2 mn. to upgrade 3,200 proprietary licences that are due to expire next year, the province decided to switch to OpenOffice which “offers basically the same functionality”.

The region has set aside a budget of €220,000 for the switch to OpenOffice; this budget includes a staff training element.