Südtirol coat of armsWith the migration from MS Office to LibreOffice, public sector organisations in Italy’s mostly German-speaking South Tyrol region are making their first major steps towards using freien software. Over the coming 3 years, will convert 7,000 PC workstations and thus save some €600,000 in licensing fees.

Free software gained entry to Italian public sector organisations just under 20 years ago, but has so far only gained a niche presence. This has now come to an end as all public sector organisations in the South Tyrol shall in future be using the LibreOffice instead of Microsoft’s proprietary paid-for office suite. Over the next 3 years the regional government alone will be converting 7,000 computer workstations to the free software package, in addition to which several thousand more workstations in municipalities and the health sector will also be migrated.

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“With the introduction of free software for standard applications, this of course means saving for us, but not just that by a long way: free software also makes us more flexible and flexibility is of major importance in a quickly changing field such as IT”, says Alderman Roberto Bizzo, the member of the regional assembly with responsibility for IT, on the philosophy associated with the change to free software.

Bizzo, Kurt Pöhl, head of the regional government’s IT department, free software expert Patrick Ohnewein of TIS and trade unionist Erwin Pfeifer gave a presentation yesterday the public sector’s new software strategy.

Goodbye MS: announcing the migration to LibreOffice

Goodbye MS Office: announcing the migration to LibreOffice

A working group was established in February in which TIS’ experts – in concert with the regional government, municipalities and the health sector – sounded out how free software could be used in all public sector organisations. The result of the consultations is the gradual introduction of free software, starting with LibreOffice. The ODF format has also been defined as the standard public sector document exchange format.

Read the original press release in German or Italian.