"Musicians might recognize the name Ernie Ball as an icon
credited with being an electric guitar industry pioneer. Ernie Ball
Inc., the global manufacturer of guitar strings, electric guitars
and basses, that bears his name, is now making a name for itself as
a software industry pioneer.
"Over the past two years, Ernie Ball, the company, has moved its
IT system almost entirely to open-source software, ditching older
systems powered by Windows operating systems. It represents a
growing class of small- and medium-sized businesses finding
opportunity in alternative software such as the Linux operating
"Its corporate servers and desktop computers run a version of
Linux from Red Hat. The company's time clock and security systems
are also powered by Linux servers. The open-source Gnome user
interface has replaced the popular Windows start-up screen on
employee desktops. Company e-mail is managed with Ximian's
Evolution software, not Microsoft's popular Outlook client.
Employees now type memos and view presentations using the freely
available OpenOffice software suite..."