Cost estimate of a migration

I’ve been wondering this for a while:

How much do you reckon it would cost to move a workforce from 1 version of office productivity suite to another?
Lets say 10,000 seats.

I started trying to do the maths, then had a ratch around Google and came up with this:

oh looky here

Thats a link to a pdf from the Finnish department of Justice who migrated from Lotus and MS Office to OpenOffice and MS Office in 2007. Very interesting reading.

Of 10K people they put 8.5k on OOo and 1.5k on MS Office 2003. They found the retraining to be minor (much less than ‘the ribbon…’ I’m sure).

They reckon overall over 5 years they will save just short of 5M Euro over putting all 10k on MS Office. But the OOo/MS option was 500k Euro more expensive than putting everyone on Lotus SmartSuite. (wtf??)

They estimate 500k Euro to convert various files to work with the relevant applications. That seems low, but of course most could be just kept in .xls format and opened in MS Office and OOo. I guess by keeping the power users and the VBA fiends on MS Office they saved a stack of conversion cash too. And I guess 500k is around 5 dev years of effort.

I wonder if we could adapt those costings to compare the cost of migrating to 2007. I guess an upgrade licence would cost half? quarter? Has anyone got links to other example studies? (not marketing bullshit or sponsored ones please)
There would be a significant conversion cost of re-writing any UI stuff to target the ribbon rather than tolbars. Unless the coders were slackers like me who just stick forms buttons on worksheets and hide the gridlines and call that a ui).

It looks to me on the ‘hard facts’ there is not a lot to choose between all the options, it comes down to some of the softer, less precise, less certain issues. What do you think?




One Response to “Cost estimate of a migration”

  1. Harlan Grove Says:

    Re Lotus SmartSuite, most of their users already had this, and the paper states on page 4 that ‘no change in the current license maintenance agreements would be introduced which means that a large portion of licenses
    would not have yearly license maintenance costs.’ Should I infer from this that Microsoft Office does have annual license maintenance costs for large scale licensees like governmental ministries?

    With regard to document conversion, I read the paper to mean that most of it would involve converting WordPro files to either Word’s .DOC or OOo’s .ODT file formats. Another example of the word processor typically being the most used application (by LARGE MARGINS) in ‘productivity’ suites. It also seems to me they imply that what spreadsheets they do use were in Excel, and I’d figure that explains the bulk of the Microsoft Office licenses in the OOo option.

    If the spreadsheet is the determining factor, Microsoft Office still wins. But if the word processor determines the choice, Microsoft is in trouble. Could that help bolster Excel’s position within Office? I won’t hold my breath.

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