The Lower-Cost Open-Source Software Alternative

Issue 5 and Volume 164.

BY CRAIG PRUSANSKY Almost every day a story appears in the newspaper or on the television about local governments having to make budget cuts to prevent reductions in services or to avoid laying off personnel. Fire and emergency medical service (EMS) departments are having to think of new ways to reduce their expenditures to avoid having to compromise the level of service they provide to their public. One way to cut costs without cutting service is to look for alternatives to decrease the cost of “doing business” without reducing employee efficiency or productivity. Computer software has become a necessity for all departments and, therefore, represents a significant cost. SOFTWARE LICENSING ISSUES Software licensing involves a major cost for many departments. Companies that make computer software usually have some sort of licensing policy that requires a license for each computer on which the software is installed. Most of these companies charge…

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