Re: [board-discuss] Proposed rebranding in global perspective
Thanks for engaging.
On 12/07/2020 23:59, Tuomas Hietala wrote:
So if there needs to be an "edition",
let it be "Community Edition", which sends a message more in line with
LO's licence and TDF's statutes, yet suggests that this edition is not
something you want to rely on in an "enterprise" setting.
I'd like to thank Michael Meeks for his thought-provoking analysis,
though, which makes the motivations behing the branding change more
understandable. While I'm not necessarily sold on the idea of TDF's
version of LO being an "edition", I agree that staying with the status
quo would be risky for the overall health of the LO ecosystem as well.
"Community Edition" could certainly be worth trying.
Good to hear that.
The big issue I'd like to bring up is that the assumptions behind the
marketing plan and Michael's analysis seem to be somewhat
anglo/eurocentric, or perhaps more accurately "global north / major
language centric". I live in Finland (very much in the global north, but
not a player in the major language league), and I'm quite astonished to
hear that in some countries lots of big companies are using LO and
finding it as good as to need neither paid support nor MS Office. In
Finland, MSO is ubiquitous in government and business, and the only
"enterprise-scale" deployments of LO I'm aware of are in schools and
Ah - so, I'm always interested by this EU case study:
From the Finnish Ministry of Justice. Section 3.4 "Support services" on
page 9/10 - has this gem:
The conclusions of support service evaluation can be summarized as follows:
There is no need for an external Help Desk agreement with an external
service provider for OpenOffice.org user support. The need for support
appears seldom and expert services should be acquired on a case-by-case
The installations of OpenOffice.org software versions can be done as
internal work. External technical support services should be acquired on
a case-by-case basis.
ie. it's as good/bad as the competition, why bother getting support
(except perhaps for configuration). I rather suspect that our code
quality is now significantly higher than in the days of OpenOffice.org
From what I recall (and I may certainly be wrong), the Ministry
eventually switched to MS Office because they piled up lots of minor
problems, and had no effective support / product management / code-fix
partner to help them: but of course no doubt there are political angles
to every such decision.
I've not read that for a long time, but it reads like a multi-million
Euro saving vs. the competition - with no investment back into
OpenOffice (at the time). I may be mis-reading but at least it fits my
personal narrative of life: the situation does suck for enterprises
without support in the longer term.
The assumption that you could just "nudge" these institutions into buying
support for LO in addition to, or instead of, paying for MSO licences is
quite a bold one.
It would require some sort of grass-roots awareness, that large scale
deployments that don't contribute are really unhelpful, for sure =) How
do we build that awareness?
Maybe they'll install AOO instead
I find that rather unlikely.
Focusing marketing efforts on nudging
non-paying users into buying support is premised on the idea that there
are lots of happy non-paying users in enterprise settings, which I doubt
is true at all in many parts of the world.
I see these enterprises from time to time; and they don't even know
what harm they do (or what good they fail to do for themselves & the
The code that the ecosystem companies commit into LO benefits everyone
regardless of country or language, of course. But TDF should still be
careful not to alienate the volunteer community.
In any case, I'd be interested in hearing about the situation in other
parts of the world and would recommend TDF to consider the global
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