Feeds

Council mumbles Microsoft benefits

Dubbed NetNazis, after snubbing open source

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft wheeled out a small council who had chosen its software over open source yesterday.

South Gloucestershire unitary council completed a £1m installation of Microsoft software last year at two new data centres.

Paul Appleton, head of IT at the unitary council, said he had considered using open source software and had discussed the plans with his opposite number at Bristol Council, the authority that famously ditched Microsoft and went open source in 2004.

He even commissioned the Society of IT Management to study his options. He chose Microsoft, he said, because it meant less aggro in the long run.

"We have about 60 permanent staff in IT so we don't really have the capacity to do a great deal of development inhouse," Appleton said. He also said Microsoft software would better "future proof" his systems.

But he could not explain the decision in any more detail. The society report might be released for the benefit of his peers in the public sector if his "public relations" manager allows it.

He appeared to squirm when pressed for figures to support his decision. Fortunately, Microsoft UK director of platform strategy Nicholas McGrath was able to butt in with some well-polished one-liners straight from the public relations handbook: "Cost savings...integration...ease of use...support".

Appleton later said maintenance, upgrade, and licensing costs for the old and new systems were about the same.

However, there were 10 per cent fewer calls to the help desk, more of which are being resolved immediately.

"But the long-term benefits are still to come because we've got a long learning curve still to go through," he said. "Our engineers have got experience in Novell. Their retraining is not yet complete."

He also said the new system caused an upset with council staff when they were prevented from using their own screen savers. The local paper called them "NetNazis," Appleton said.

Microsoft partner Telemon was brought in to do the work, which involved consolidating 40 IT offices and 27 servers into two data centres. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.