Outlook and Linux

Lee Braiden lee_b at digitalunleashed.com
Tue Nov 1 14:54:43 UTC 2005

On Tuesday 01 November 2005 14:20, Eric S. Johansson wrote:
> interesting philosophy.  So if you have customers that send you
> information that is essential to you making money and it's in a
> proprietary format, what should you do?  The easiest solution for many
> organizations is just to buy the proprietary application.  Yes, this
> creates network lock in problems for any competitor but it still lets
> you meet payroll.
> solution?  It's not going to be telling someone "you are ruining my work
> processes by using a proprietary format".  That's a short path to career
> disaster.  unfortunately, the only solution is going to be for open
> office to be bug for bug compatible with Excel and Word.  Only then will
> people transition because the system behaves as they expect.

Well, you seem to be in a consultant-client relationship, which is the perfect 
position to offer them sound advice on how to escape vendor lock-in, and to 
help them with the upgrade to an open format.  This can be done in a managed 
way, taking care of their needs, showing them why it's better, what they'll 
gain from the transition, minimising any transition problems, etc.

> now I will advocate trying again with 2.0 but I must go carefully with
> my customer.

If they're customers coming to you for IT advice, then I think it is your duty 
to give them the best advice you can, and not to simply agree because they're 
paying and don't like to hear the hard truths.  Sometimes, effort and change 
is required to do things reliably and well in IT, as I'm sure you know.  
Security is the most obvious example of this, but data format selection and 
other future proofing isn't far behind.

But I don't want to get into a long discussion about this.  It's your company, 
not mine.  I just wanted to offer a suggested course of action, which you can 
take or leave at your whim :)

Lee Braiden

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