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VolvoIT makes savings with Linux workstations

VolvoIT, the IT division of the major car manufacturer, is testing an open source workstation based on Ubuntu amongst its Chinese users, according to The workstations have 80% of the functionality of the proprietary workstations they are replacing but cost only one-fifth (20%) as much.

Volvo IT is a standalone organisation within Volvo, employs about 5,000 persons and provides IT services to all of the Volvo group’s subsidiaries. Following its acquisition of a Chinese company whose licensing was not compliant, VolvoIT defined an alternative workstation based on open source and SaaS elements and dubbed the “OpenSource WorkPlace”.

Ubuntu desktop
A typical Ubuntu 11.* desktop. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The project’s objective was to provide a cheaper workstation in terms of total cost of ownership (TCO), but one retaining flexibility. VolvoIT commissioned the Canadian company Revolution Linux with the development of a complete distribution package. Besides the OS, the final package features some well-known open source packages, such as OpenOffice, Firefox, Zimbra, Gimp, etc.

Besides being based on Ubuntu, the workstation exists in 3 versions: fully managed, thick client and thin client (based on LTSP).

The trial started initially with a test group of 150 users, which was due to be increased to 750 by the end of August. VolvoIT is hoping to make savings of some 29% over 5 years with the Ubuntu workstations.

Read the original article (French).