Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One year of OSS implementation in ELCOT - the score card

The following letter was written by Mr. C. Umashankar, IAS to the yahoo group eGovIndia. He is the Managing Director of ELCOT (A Government of TamilNadu Undertaking)

On the 26th May 2007, ELCOT completed one year of OSS implementation in its day to day activities.
Currently the migration to OSS is close to 126 out of 130 desktop machines (97%) and 25 out of 26 rack servers (96%).
Barring four desktops which use a popular windows based accounting software, the entire ELCOT's head office moved into Suse Linux. A lone user has been using Fedora core.
We have asked for the Linux version of the accounting software from the vendor. He had agreed. ELCOT is also in the process of migrating to an open source based ERP shortly and so the four desktops also would be migrated to Suse Linux shortly.
ELCOT had also rolled out a powerful application software for administering family cards. Currently the contractors who do the data entry for the family cards have been using it. Government have given approval for decentralising the family card printing operations at the district level, thanks to the web based software developed by ELCOT using OSS.
The family card software has a powerful local language interface which is  built on Java script technology. It is absolutely platform independent and the user need not install any fonts.
So far so good.
ELCOT has been show casing its success in the migration to OSS to all Government departments. A few of them were thoroughly impressed and have decided to fully migrate to OSS. It is still too early.
Yet, the way in which the people accept OSS after a hands on experience in ELCOT gives room for optimism. ELCOT's staff generously share their experience when Government users visit ELCOT's office. They also get to see the Linux ATM and also ELCOT's 28 seater software development centre which uses only OSS.
ELCOT has an 80 licence anti virus software which had become redundant. The officer in charge of the licence had asked my permission to sell it outside!  Concurrence given.
Anti virus software has no role in ELCOT.
The latest success is the use of crossover and wine software to run application software that had already been developed in Microsoft client - server environment. ELCOT's team is shortly descending on Salem to provide on site support to a large co-operative bank (150 desktops) to migrate to Suse Linux without any migration of the existing Ms application software (using Wine/Cross over)


It may be noted that Mr. Umashankar initiated the process of OSS support and implementation for various government organizations in Tamil Nadu.