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7 Questions to Ask Open Source Vendors

Sep 11, 2012, 23:00 (0 Talkback[s])

With their budgets under increasing pressure, many campus IT directors are considering open source projects for the first time. On the face of it, the savings can be significant. Commercial emergency-planning software can cost upward of six figures, for example, whereas the open source Kuali Ready might run as little as $15,000 per year when hosted by a consortium.

But it's important not to be seduced by the numbers alone. Especially for smaller institutions such as Hartnell College in Salinas, CA, tackling an open source project on their own can be dicey, says Matthew Coombs, vice president of information and technology resources. "We have very few IT resources," he explains. "We have two people to manage 2,000 desktops, one network administrator, one telecom person, one web person, and a few lab techs--that's it."

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