Zyxware Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is delighted to share the news that it has successfully completed the Free software migration endeavour it had taken up at the Kerala State Legislative Assembly. The Kerala Legislative Assembly (Niyamasabha) as of July 17, 2014 produces all its documentation, both printed and digital, on a Free Software platform based on Ubuntu Linux.
The project was taken up under the guidance and management of ICFOSS at a most critical juncture at the Niyamasabha as the Monsoon session was about to begin. This move places Kerala Niyamasabha at par with bodies like City of Munich, French National Police, ICBC etc. on the list of large institutions who have adopted Free Software. The point which makes this undertaking unique is the fact that the complete documentation at the Niyamasabha is done in Malayalam, one of the most complex languages even among the Indic ones.
The Niyamasabha IT department acting in accordance with the Government IT Policy, decided to take up the mammoth task of migrating its whole IT infrastructure onto GNU/Linux and engaged ICFOSS as its Technical Advisor and Zyxware Technologies, one of the flag bearers of Free Software in Kerala, was chosen as its implementation partner. The biggest challenge in the hands of Zyxware Technologies was addressing the concerns of the users in Niyamasabha documentation team about using GNU/Linux platforms.
We had to begin by providing a forum for all users to list out their concerns and develop solutions to address these concerns. This was led by Sooraj Kenoth, a Free Software Consultant from Zyxware Technologies in an interactive session with the department staff. Mr. Kenoth, an adept Change Management specialist was able to demonstrate the various advantages of using Malyalam Computing on GNU/Linux.
The possibility of getting a Unicode encoded Malayalam output and availability of a multitude of documenting features on the GNU/Linux platform won over the imaginations of the department staff who where non-believers to begin with. At present, according to Mr. Kenoth, the employees have taken up the ownership of the documentation process and are even capable of interacting with various Free Software Communities and obtaining solutions for the new problems which arise in their daily activities.
The first credit for the success of the whole project goes to the gutsy IT department at the Niyamasabha who made the decision to migrate onto Free Software and stuck to their guns in spite of all the difficulties they had to face in the move. There were times when the pressure on them was so high that the only choice in front of them was to roll back the project they so ambitiously began.
A special mention also need to be made of the employees who learned the new system. The passion and readiness they showed in learning the new technology once they realized how much quality was being added to the output of their work as inspiring to witness. Thanks is also due to Swathanthra Malayalam Computing and Libre Office Community for providing community support during the project.