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LinuxPR: Open Source Software Brings Huge Benefits To Construction Firm

Oct 18, 2002, 02:30 (0 Talkback[s])

By replacing its back-end IT infrastructure with open source software, a London-based construction firm has gained huge benefits in reliability, scalability and performance, plus more than halved its annual Microsoft licensing fees--saving over £200,000 this year and about £100,000 each year from now on. Sirius IT, who implemented the solution, states that by running Open Source Software on Linux, yet keeping Microsoft Office on each desktop, its client, Killby & Gayford Group, has not only radically increased its business competitiveness but has also drastically lowered its operational costs.

Killby & Gayford Group now use an entirely open source solution to run their complex network, spread over two sites, whilst their 180+ end users continue to use the familiar Microsoft Office suite on their desktops. Sirius IT claims Killby & Gayford is one of the very few examples of a fully integrated open source server/Microsoft desktop infrastructure anywhere in the world.

Measured benefits Killby & Gayford have gained are:

  • Massive reduction in software licensing costs due to the replacement of Microsoft server software with open source alternatives.
  • Zero user retraining costs - end users continue to use the familiar Microsoft Office suite on their desktop.
  • Simple, powerful, secure, single sign-on - staff can now logon to the network, from any desktop, using any operating system, and use any service.
  • Vastly increased security, plus total back-end immunity to viruses.
  • Radical improvements in file access and print serving speeds, across the network.
  • Rock solid network stability - uptimes now measured in years, rather than weeks.

The project is being considered for entry into Construction News's prestigious "Most Innovative use of IT" award.

Mark Taylor, Managing Consultant with Sirius IT, said: "We can ensure the benefits of open source solutions are within the grasp of any business. Within three to six months our clients benefit from a more stable, more reliable, faster and more secure network. The payback is normally well within one year.

"Importantly, we implement open source networking solutions incrementally. This causes the minimum disruption to our client's business. Plus there are no re-training costs for staff. The change is seamless and invisible--they continue to use Microsoft Office on their desktops yet gain radical improvements in response, availability and reliability."

Full Case Study

[Editor's Note: Though this case study is rather short on the financials, it does provide a good overview of what Open Source tools were implemented at this company, including links to terms and a thorough HOWTO on setting up LDAP. -BKP]

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