September 18, 2004

Burningsuit helps charity move to open source

Author: Burningsuit

Stuart Box writes "Burningsuit helps Migrant Helpline move to OpenSource

September 2004 - The Charity Migrant Helpline is moving its 200 computer users over from Microsoft Windows to an Open Source solution with help and training from The Burningsuit Consultancy.

The Dover and Southern England based Charity is moving its users over to applications running on Mandrake Linux with Ximian Evolution Email. To help achieve this change The Burningsuit Consultancy has created and is delivering bespoke training courses which give all users the essential skills they need in the new environment.

"Migrant Helpline gets many benefits from using Open Source software," says chief executive Annie Ledger. "We've found it to be stable, fast, and less prone to viruses and other exploits. It has all the features we need, and with a bit of training it's easy to use".

The Burningsuit Consultancy is training the whole organisation in groups of up to ten at Migrant Helpline's training suite in Dover. Feedback from the course is good, with over 95% of delegates rating the course as "good or "excellent." Importantly, 68% of the staff who have completed the course now say that they can do things with OpenOffice they couldn't do with previous systems. Topics such as the use of styles in OpenOffice are clearly explained and taught and this, together with easy to use Quick Reference Guides and the careful configuring of the courses to Migrant Helpline's needs, has resulted in an improvement in IT skills across the organisation.

"Training is vital to the successful adoption of any computer software, and this is especially true with open source applications." says Stuart Box, senior partner at The Burningsuit Consultancy. "Many companies try OpenOffice, but give up because it's slightly different, and they find it's not an exact copy of what they know. Properly configured training in OpenOffice and other open source applications can overcome these difficulties, explain the differences and make users far more productive."

"OpenOffice is a wonderful application, easily as good if not better than its commercial alternatives, but its adoption is being held up by a lack of understanding of the applications. Migrant Helpline have proved that with proper training and control OpenOffice and other open source software can provide solutions that are fast, stable, and cost-effective, yet offer all the benefits and features of their commercial alternatives."

About The Burningsuit Consultancy.
Formed in August 2000, The Burningsuit Consultancy specialises in training and consulting in all aspects of office technology. They provide training on the entire Microsoft suite of office applications, and have been passionate advocates of open source applications, particularly OpenOffice, since their inception.

About Migrant Helpline
Migrant Helpline is an independent non-government organisation, a registered Charity and a company limited by Guarantee. The organisation is committed to providing a comprehensive and wide-ranging reception and advice service to asylum seekers and refugees presenting and residing within its area of operations, promoting awareness of asylum issues and working towards integration of asylum seekers and refugees within the community.

Contact Details
Stuart Box
The Burningsuit Consultancy
PO Box 240
West Sussex
RH14 9FX

Tel 01403 786740


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