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LANETWORKS supports the automation needs of small and medium sized businesses, especially professional services firms. We help our clients spend their computing dollars wisely by developing usable, effective solutions to their automation problems.

Our principals have over twenty years of experience in solving computing technology problems in firms like yours. We have served as technical staff and as management in professional services firms. We have owned and operated retail businesses. We understand that your practice, that your business is providing the best possible work product, the best possible experience, for your clients, for your customers.

Because that's how we feel, too.

We strive to be a prompt, responsive partner because that is what we'd expect ourselves.

We use open source tools in our business and we think you should strongly consider using them in your business, too. We are persuaded that free and open source software ("FOSS") provide the best solutions for the automation problems you encounter daily.

If you are considering a move to open source software, whether for "back office" servers, or "front office", line-of-business systems, we can help you assess, plan and execute such a migration.

We realize, though, that firms often come to rely on closed source solutions. Sometimes this is because the vendor has designed their product to make switching to another solution very costly. This is called "lock in". Sometimes it is because buyers feel better about dealing with a big commercial organization which promises to support its offerings (usually for a substantial fee).

As you may infer, we don't feel these are particularly good reasons to prefer closed source solutions: we can help you break the "lock in" and while we are not a big organization, open source means that there are literally thousands of other service providers, including some very big ones, like IBM. It is almost certainly better for your business if you choose an open source solution even if you choose another services provider to help implement it.

Still, there may be compelling reasons to prefer a closed source solution in some circumstances. This is most evident in the case of vertical, industry-specific applications where open source alternatives are currently inadequate.

So we also support clients who prefer closed source systems, like Microsoft's Windows and Apple's Macintosh. (In fairness, we concede that OS X is at least "partially open". It doesn't hurt that we like it, too.) We run them in our lab and we use them frequently. We can help you use them effectively.

Thinking about Windows Vista? Please don't. The implications of widescale adoption of Vista are truly disturbing. Please see Peter Gutmann's paper A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection. Vista truly is "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

The European Union's IDA group has produced a very helpful guide to FOSS migration projects. While the document focuses on Windows to Red Hat Linux migrations, there is much that is applicable to any FOSS migration project.

The IDA group has also produced a handy spreadsheet which lists common proprietary applications and their FOSS counterparts.

Please see their Documentation on Open Source Software page for both documents.

Worried about SCO's claims against Linux users? Please see Eben Moglen's position paper. Professor Moglen has served as the Free Software Foundation's General Counsel since 1993.

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