Lodahl's blog: The market opportunity for OpenOffice.org integrations

20 December 2008

The market opportunity for OpenOffice.org integrations

My friend Roberto Galoppini speaks about business opportunities in the market for migrating customers from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org. Roberto think that many of the technical difficulties that we are facing should be taken care of by Sun Microsystems. Robertos blogpost was even refered to by infoworld.com here: http://weblog.infoworld.com/openresource/archives/2008/12/the_market_oppo.html

When I speak to customers about taking Openoffice.org into consideration the talk often comes to mission critical business software and integration. Not long ago, I had a good talk with a company (large public energy provider). There is no doubt that they have a good business case: more than 2.000 thousand users. They would like to look into OpenOffice.org (and other F/OSS software applications), but when we began counting, we found more than 100 individual pieces of integration.

The same thing with many other companies:

  • Edit your website with your favorite text editor and save directly to your website (CMS integration).
  • From you customer register (CRM), do mail merge directly.
  • Ask the bookkeeper to give you an overview of next month cash flow. You will get the result as a spreadsheet. The report from ERP will be created directly.
Roberto writes on his blog ( http://robertogaloppini.net/tag/openoffice-migration/ )that Sun Microsystems should help contributing to this problem. I disagree. Not that we don't need Sun, but Sun is already doing what they can and we shouldn't point our fingers at sun all the time.

Sun is already contributing (with IBM and others) to a project to ODF-Toolkit ( http://odftoolkit.openoffice.org/ ) and a few extensions e.g. Sun Wiki Publisher ( http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/wikipublisher ) and Weblog Publisher ( http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/swp ).

Sun Microsystems are already deeply involved with this and what we need is that other IT companies will join the case and create extensions. Whats more important is, that local (domestic) companies will begin to listen to their customers and provide a real choice. Today many companies doesn't actually have a choice. The provider of ERP is making the choice for them.

The market places are different. I Denmark Sun is not an active participant. Sun StarOffice ( http://www.sun.com/software/staroffice/ ) doesn't come in Danish and there is no Danish certified business partners. Not a single provider that can use the various migration tools Sun provides. This open for a new business opportunities. Small companies and freelance consultants has a good chance to find a business in this segment. In other market places the situation is different and the businesses is to be found individually in each country.

1 comment:

jzarecta said...

Migration is important and i think BizDev might be a great place to move this conversation. We could start addressing the end user needs.

OOoES has many migrators and have succesfully circumvent these issues. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learn here.

OOoES launched a series of initiatives for business including the possibility to become a partner and start flowing information from the enterprise to the community and back.

At the same time we are looking into concentrating talent to start aiming to this integration with BI systems, ERP, and other sort. We are open to work with other communities to implement the OpenDocument standard.

Something we could address on BizDev.