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December 1997


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Dean Williams <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
ACS staff discussion list <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 19 Dec 1997 17:07:03 -0500
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>...  You have to put
>enough cash on the barrelhead to buy the software, upgrade equipment and
>above all TRAIN EVERYBODY on the new standard suite.  We've done none of
>the above.

You'd have the same challenges even without switching from one product line
to another.  You still have to upgrade to current releases, or you put
yourself in a position of getting no vendor support and, for some people,
having software that doesn't work when you upgrade your operating system.
True, UVM isn't giving away much software and hardware -- but as you know
options like leases are being investigated.  And training is both available
and free.

Departments that have made successful transitions from Word Perfect have
taken advantage of several financial and educational options.

        - Pricing: Departments can buy a suite for about the price of a
Word Perfect upgrade.  The University Store has pooled Microsoft purchases
so that UVM qualifies for steep discounts on Microsoft Office.  I would
like to see MOLP pricing available from the Store in single quantity
purchases, as Microcomputer Services does for purchasers of new computers,
but for now the Store will aggregate orders until they can buy, I think, 10
licenses. CIT has funded a site licensing program that makes Lotus Smart
Suite available very inexpensively.

        - Consultation & advice: CIT has helped departments choose an
alternative to Word Perfect, and has helped with document translation and
other transition issues.  Sometimes use of nonproprietary formats like HTML
and RTF facilitates document sharing; other times special software is the
best way to translate documents from one word processor format to another.
Certainly, we still answer questions concerning Word Perfect when we can.
When we do get stuck, though, we have no vendor resources to help us.

        - Education: In collaboration with UVM Libraries, CIT has provided
self-paced education in use of recommended software.  Videos for the latest
versions have been purchased and should be cataloged over the break.  In
addition, CIT has taught expensive in-person classes for some departments.
Other people have taken advantage of Church Street Center classes for which
the University covers the cost.

But aren't we going to paperless -- online -- communication?

>I asked Norman and Roger over three years ago for a cost per seat for
>running the Waterman Lab.  I still have yet to get any hard numbers.  ...

How is this related?  In any case, the long-term upgrade plans for the
labs, with expected annual outlays, are at:

We ended up (because prices kept getting better, etc.) with a scenario
that's not shown at that URL.  The amount spent for this summer's Windows
upgrades, plus RAM in Macintoshes and software upgrades all around was
about $177,000.  Deane Dudley would have more precise numbers; the books
are open.

-Dean W.