Study: Big companies save big from open source

Large companies can save a substantial amount of money by using open source software products, according to a study published Wednesday by the Swiss consultancy Soreon Research GmbH.

Companies with a €1 million (US$1.1 million) budget for office software can reduce their costs as much as 20 percent by using OpenOffice software instead of Microsoft Corp.'s Office product, Soreon said in a statement. And those running the open source Linux operating system instead of Microsoft's Windows on their servers can save as much as 30 percent.

Within a three-year period, enterprises with 2,000 workplaces using open source software can save €525,000 on office software, €57,000 on server software, €32,000 on content management system software and €21,000 on database software, according to Soreon.

The lack of licensing costs accounts for the lion's share of the savings, the market researcher said. Companies can also reduce personnel by implementing Linux.

The study included 50 large German companies and organizations, as well as 30 software retailers.

By comparison, small and medium-size enterprises stand to benefit only marginally by using open source software, according to Soreon. A company with 10 computers, for instance, can reduce its costs around 2 percent by using open source software. A larger company with 100 computers can save 6 percent on office software and 7 percent on server software.

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