In the latest pith for the corporate market, Canonical hopes to pass on the rules for a successful Ubuntu migration. I give it a qualified three stars as a primer and agent provocateur for small as well as big business.
I'm not sure that the cover image of the cycle despatch rider (blowing his nose one-handed on the move??!) conjures up quite what Canonical is looking for, however artfully coloured and blurred; but it is the kind of corporate brochure-ware to which people in business are accustomed.
Decked out in cutesy icons and bright orange, the book looks a little too artfully designed to me. The orange gives me a headache. The initial pitch for free software is quickly and succinctly made, but I wish Canonical had come up with better case studies than French National Police Force and the Supreme Court of India.
However, wasting no time, the Desktop team outlines the five-point plan:
- Plan the full scope of your project
- Target the users who are ripe for easy migration
- Identify cost-effective, open-source apps
- Map the right management infrastructure
- Pilot your project ready for launch
- NEW GRADUATE JOINERS the ‘Facebook generation’ have grown up with the browser and readily adapt to new apps and interfaces
- EMPLOYEES USING MAINLY SAAS OR BROWSER-BASED APPS why pay for an OS license when all they use is a browser?
- MOBILE WORKERS WHO NEED TO STAY PRODUCTIVE with Ubuntu, 3G and WiFi connectivity are simple to set up and easy to manage
- CLERICAL STAFF USING MAINLY WORD PROCESSING, SPREADSHEETS, PRESENTATION SOFTWARE AND EMAIL Ubuntu comes with LibreOffice which has all the functionality of Microsoft Office - without the price tag."
In this section, the advice includes "...look for a SaaS-based alternative" but at no point among the 7 or 8 uses do I see any explanation of the term in the book. That's quite an assumption they're making of the readership. It's 'Software as a Service' in case you're wondering.
Among the corporate management-speak in the back, is the sage advice, 'start with a small pilot' which is clearly where Canonical hopes to get its foot in the door and offer services - wrap with the contact details at the end.
The accompanying missive is up-beat: "...migrating to Ubuntu now could save your business millions – and put you on the right path for future success. Don’t miss this chance to see how it's done."
As a brochure, it's not quite there. The attempt to do something different falters with that colour scheme and icons. That said, it's as good as, containing less corporate *BS* than most of the glossy dumpster-fodder I usually endure. Press on, Canonical, next stop, world domination. RC