The ISD must provide its employees with appropriate and effective tools. Many organizations are giving in to the pressure of habit and therefore of large publishers like Adobe, Microsoft and others. Indeed, since employees are used to their software and interfaces, both at home, at school and in their former jobs, changing their habits can be frightening.
The fact is that many people think that paying for licenses from well-known and reputable vendors is a guarantee of quality. This is not entirely false, but open-source alternatives can be just as good or even better. At Wisper, we are convinced that open-source will play an important part in tomorrow’s information systems.
We have selected for you 4 open-source software that you could deploy on your workstations.
#1 Spreadsheet, word processing, presentations … think about Open Office!
Most of us are addicted to the Microsoft Office suite: Word, Excel, Powerpoint … yet most users use only 10% of the functionalities of these softwares and could be quite content with Libre Office.
Libre Office is a free office suite derived from Open Office, but it is updated much more often, that’s why we recommend it. Libre Office is cross-platform, you can deploy it on Windows as well as on Mac OS or Linux workstations.
Libre Office is composed of 4 softwares :
- Writer : is a word processor, equivalent to Word.
- Calc: is a spreadsheet, equivalent to Excel and which is getting closer and closer to its level of excellence
- Impress: is a presentation software, equivalent to Powerpoint.
- Draw: creation and layout of documents, equivalent to Publisher
A little tip to encourage adoption: train your users to these programs, the interface can be confusing at first but you quickly get used to it. There are videos on the internet presenting these softwares. Don’t hesitate to name the desktop shortcuts of your users with the names of the Microsoft Office suite software, name for example Writer “Word”, it will be less confusing for your users
Download the software suite on the official Libre Office website.
#2 PDF file modifications … think Inkscape !
Adobe Reader is often installed by default on most workstations in our organizations. Many only need it to read PDF files. The latest versions of web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) allow PDF files to be read natively, so the usefulness of Adobe Reader is limited for most users.
Nevertheless, some features may be missing: conversion of files to PDF (.docx, .pptx, .odt, etc.), printing, conversion to other formats, comments, modifications, etc.
Inkscape looks a lot like Adober Reader and has solid performance and many features. Inkscape is a professional vectorial drawing software compatible with Linux, Windows and MacOS. It is free and completely free of charge and allows you to read and edit PDF files.
It offers complete functionality such as the removal or addition of text or images. So it’s perfect for your users who want to make changes to their PDF files without requiring a license for Adobe Reader Pro.
Download it from the official Inkscape website.
#3 Email and Messaging: Think Thunderbird
Webmail clients have become popular with Microsoft® Office 365 and Google’s G Suite (Gmail for Organizations). However, many users need to have an email client installed on their computer, if only to access their emails without an internet connection.
There are several solutions, including the very famous Microsoft Outlook. But here again, open-source has some answers: Thunderbird!
Thunderbird is compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux. It will therefore be installed on all your machines. This email software offers as many features as an Outlook :
- Address book
- Reminder for attachments
- Search tools
- Message archiving
- Managing large files with Thunderbird Filelink
- Protection against phishing
Thunderbird is developed by Mozilla (yes like the Firefox browser). Like its cousin the browser, many plugins can come to complete its functionalities!
Download the email software on the official Thunderbird website.
#4 Graphic retouching, photos and images … think about Paint.NET !
Adobe Photoshop is the king of the jungle of graphic retouching software, it deserves it so much its features are impressive. Nevertheless, most users with relatively basic needs will not need such sophisticated software. The open-source alternative is: Paint.NET.
If your users are familiar with the Windows Paint software, getting started with Paint.NET will be quick and easy. This photo editing tool was originally developed to be a more advanced version of Microsoft’s famous software.
It therefore inherits many of its features, is free, open source and supported by a strong community of developers. It offers the possibility to apply filters, perform automatic retouching and offers manual editing tools for precise adjustments. It also allows the use of layers. Plugins exist to extend its functionality.
Download the software from the official Paint.NET website.
How to deploy this software?
Ready to test these open-source solutions on your workstations? Don’t put your users on the spot and don’t make your deployment difficult. With ceBox®, you have the possibility to better deploy your workstations, in a centralised way, these open-source alternatives on all your computers.
You will be able to prepare smoothly the adoption of these open-source software. The ceBox® solution manages versioning, allowing you to go back very easily in case of a problem, thus ensuring service continuity and not impacting your production.
Would you like to see ceBox® in action? Make a test request on this page. We will contact you to arrange a demonstration of our solution.