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CIO  February 2009

CIO February 2009

Subject:

Re: Savings with Open Source

From:

Brian Stewart <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 6 Feb 2009 12:06:14 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (217 lines)

The move to Open source is not straightforward and as has been noted in this discussion requires different skill sets and a different attitude to systems architecture and development.

Athabasca University made the decision to move to Moodle in 2005 after we had reviewed existing systems, a report was completed and is available, see below. Our move to Alfresco CMS is available as an ECAR paper: http://connect.educause.edu/Library/ECAR/ContentManagementfortheEn/47540

We have also moved extensively along the Open source path and have implemented the following applications: 

New Initiatives since 2002	Selected	Deployed
Portal (Uportal)		2002		2004
LMS (Moodle)			2005		2006
CMS (Alfresco)			2007		2008
Collaborative suite (Zimbra)	2007		2008
AU Space (DSpace)		2006		2008
Social Networking 	        2008/9		2009/10

Pre-existing Infrastructure
Red Hat Linux
Open LDAP			 		 
Central Authentication Service	 		 
Firewall (Open BSD)		

While we run SCT Banner as our Student Information System we have managed to automate many of the student course enrollment processes and have achieved a high level of interoperability among the systems.


The initial question was related to cost savings, achievable by switching to Open source software. The main benefits of moving to Open source include:
Ability to customise
Collaboration with other like minded institutions
strong community support
Integration with existing institutional Open source components
Proven track record
Low or no license costs or issues

The costs include:
Development of relevant skill set
Maturity and sophistication of ICT planning within institution
Fit with existing architecture
Appropriateness of solutions
Culture of institution - IT and Academic
Switching costs from legacy systems
Ongoing development requirements
Interoperability with legacy systems

All in all I would suggest that there are very few short-term gains to be achieved by moving to an Open source infrastructure. It is a longer-term strategy that requires a very good understanding of the institutional mission, strategy and objectives. Does it work, yes, is it sustainable, yes, is it for you, depends....


If you want our report on our Moodle decision please don't use the reply here as it will clog the email listserv unnecessarily, just email me at:

[log in to unmask]


Thanks,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Konopka" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, February 6, 2009 9:42:54 AM GMT -07:00 US/Canada Mountain
Subject: Re: [CIO] Savings with Open Source


Hi everyone, I would tend to agree with Julie's comments below but there is also 1 additional point that needs to be addressed. From my experience, after you sign the contract with the vendor, the direction of their product is in "their" hands. In the open source world, you do have more control. In addition, with the recent (as well as proposed) mergers and acquisitions in the technology space, you may be at the mercy of a vendor you are not comfortable with in the near future. 

my .02, 
Joe 

Joseph A. Konopka, MBA, MS 
Director, IST 
Business Systems and Technologies Group 
UMDNJ 
1 World's Fair Drive, Suite 3400 
Somerset, NJ 08873 
Phone: (732)743-3341 
E-mail: [log in to unmask] 


>>> [log in to unmask] 2/6/2009 9:35 AM >>> 

I agree with Rob. We are in the final stages of an RFP process for an LMS as our current contract is up. Part of our analysis has been a total cost of ownership assessment and we did not find open source to be significantly less expensive. What you give up in license fees you may gain back in internal support costs especially if you want to do modifications or add-ons to the base software. It really comes down to more of a philosophical decision as to whether you want to be a part of the open source community or not. I would never approach open source as a cost saving measure. Plus switching course management systems should require significant faculty input as they would have to evaluate the teaching and learning capabilities, so it should not be looked upon as just an IT cost saving measure. 

Julie 


Julie Ouska 
CIO/VP of Information Technologies 
Colorado Community College System 
1059 Alton Way Bldg 758, Denver, CO 80230 
[log in to unmask] 
(720) 858-2781 


________________________________ 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv on behalf of Robert Paterson 
Sent: Fri 2/6/2009 7:21 AM 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: [CIO] Savings with Open Source 


All depends. Someone has to "manage" the open source product. Some places, large or small, these duties are easily assigned to existing staff and are absorbed. So places already have the talent in place to do this. So I know of small shops successfully running lots of open source. Other the costs are high in hiring developers to keep the products functional. Also what is the level of demand for modifications by the faculty.... 

Probably close to an even trade in overall cost to an institution. 

My 2 cents. 
Rob 

Dr. Robert Paterson 
Vice President, Information Technology, Planning and Research 
Molloy College 
1000 Hempstead Ave 
Rockville Centre, NY 11571 
516-678-5000 ex 6443 


>>> "Kraus, Leah" <[log in to unmask]> 2/6/2009 9:10 AM >>> 


I would also be interested in responses to this topic. I know that it has come up in the past. We are running Blackboard that was formerly webct and have gone through that migration. 



Thank you, 

Leah 



slogo_smallest < http://www.uncw.edu/itsd/ > 



Leah Kraus 

Associate Vice Chancellor 

Information Technology Systems Division 

University of North Carolina Wilmington 

601 S. College Road 

Wilmington, NC 28403 

910.962.2483 voice 

910.962.7942 fax 

[log in to unmask] < mailto:[log in to unmask] > 





From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [ mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Moore, Frank 
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 9:04 AM 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: [CIO] Savings with Open Source 



Good morning All, 

Like many states in the country, budget cuts (and substantial cuts at that) are the norm. To that end, my institution is looking at where any "fluff" might be. One of the areas we are looking at is our course management system (Blackboard, not that this is "fluff".). We are looking at open source solutions such as Moodle. Our Blackboard annual maintenance is about $52,000. That could be thought of as one technology FTE. 

-Has anyone here had any experience migrating to Moodle from Blackboard? 
-If so, how did it go? How do the faculty feel about the change? 
-Do you feel that you have the same functionality with Moodle that you did with Blackboard? 

One of our considerations is that we have a huge on line presence using Blackboard and I don't want to loose that if we move to something else. 

Has anyone on line targeted other software for "removal" because they have found an open source equivalent that was (better and) cheaper? 

Thanks, 

Frank 




F. X. Moore III, Ph.D. 
Vice President and CIO 
Longwood University 
201 High Street 
Farmville, VA 23909 

[voice] 434.395.2034 
[fax] 434.395.2035 

[log in to unmask] 
http://www.longwood.edu < http://www.longwood.edu/ > 

IITS will never ask for your password in an email. 
Don't ever email your password to anyone! 



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********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/. 


********** 
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********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/. 


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