Thinko: Incentives for open-source adoption

Let’s say that I want to introduce OpenOffice.org to an
organization that already has site licenses for Microsoft Office. I’d
talk about it in terms of money: that is, how much people would save
if they switched. I’d give them some time to try OpenOffice.org
out in order to see if they can survive a year without Microsoft
Office. It’ll be up to them to figure out what to do with
OpenOffice.org, but they can form support groups if they want.

Because site licenses depend on the number of seats, I’d keep a
running count of the people who signed up for the program so that we
can see the prospective savings. I’d pass those savings directly to
the employees’ monthly salaries so that they can see the effect. It’ll
cost more initially—think of this as the cost of training.

This makes the benefits of open source tangible and rewards people who
are open to change.

I’d keep at least one Windows machine with Microsoft Office around so
that people have somewhere to go when a client sends them something
braindead. However, I would post a sign warning people about viruses,
and do an anti-virus sweep frequently (every night?). The results of
this would be posted.