The Danish debates about open standards continues. Over at IngeniÃ¸ren, we are covering the development extensively and continuously, but only in Danish. On Monday, we brought a story with roughly the same title as this entry’s title.
The story is about the so-called RambÃ¸ll-report, which is a report about the costs related to switching to open standards for document formats in the Danish government. The report is made by RambÃ¸ll Management, a Danish consultancy, on behalf of The Danish Open Source Business Association (OSL).
The report establishes three scenarios for the development:
Scenario 1: Microsoft Office and ECMA Office Open XML. Would cost 380 million kroner over 5 years with migration to MS Office 2007; 105 million kroner if using current versions with plug-in.
Scenario 2: OpenOffice.org and ODF. Would cost 255 million kroner over 5 years, covering all migrations costs plus already existing MS licence costs until outphased.
Scenario 3: Microsoft Office (with plug-in) and ODF. Would have only marginally higher costs than in scenario 1.
The Open Source Business Association
RambÃ¸ll Management estimates that the whole of government (including local government) could save 550 million kroner by migrating to OpenOffice.org and ODF. That’s around 94 million US Dollars. Quite a lot of money for a small country like Denmark.
Three politicians from Parliament, Morten Helveg, Morten Messerschmidt and Anne Grete Holmsgaard, participated in the press conference about the report on Monday. These three were the driving forces behind B103, the Parliamentary decision about open standards. All three expressed satisfaction with and support to the report’s recommendations. Messerschmidt even offered to personally bring it over to the Minister of Finance, who on Tuesday will present the Annual Budget.
There are no official comments from Government. Last week, a governmental committee published a report about interoperability. That report recommended a number of initiatives, but was also criticised for being indecisive on many issues, for example those related to document formats. The Parliament Order states that government must use open standards, and sets January 1, 2008 as a deadline for the implementation. “It’s hardly time to be indecisive now”, as Morten Helveg commented.
In an unsurprising move, Microsoft Denmark totally dismissed the RambÃ¸ll-report. They were also the first to comment on the governmental report, which they found good and constructive.
Update: By request of RambÃ¸ll Management, we brought an update. Their report only speaks about the state, and they will not draw conclusions for the complete public sector. The $ 94 million figure is suggested by the Open Source Business Association, based on data from IDC.