Well, we finally did it. We moved our blog to WordPress. This comes at a time when we are reevaluating our current software both inside our company and that we sell to clients. For the past years we have provided almost entirely Microsoft products to our customers and run our company off almost entirely Microsoft Products as well.

There are a couple of reason’s that we have now started evaluating and using open source software. The first, is simply about time. I have moved into a new role at Atlas Bay where I have stepped back from the day to day development of software. My new role is entirely about planning and management. Given that I was previously spending nearly 100% of my time either coding, planning projects, or implementing solutions I was not able to spend a great deal of time evaluating software too far outside of our current areas of expertise. My new role allows me much more freedom to experiment and research new product types and lines.

The second reason for this change is a technological shift. It is becoming easier and easier to integrate systems build on different platforms. For example, we can have external websites authenticate with our Windows Domain accounts using new identity federation technologies. Additionally, with cloud hosting becoming more mainstream it is now more practical and affordable to maintain servers and software running on a variety of operating systems and platforms. This was previously a large time consumer and expense for smaller companies and non-profit organizations.

The final reason is the economy. Given the current budget constraints of our company and our clients we cannot afford to miss any viable option to save money. If we can find free software that can be easily configured, reduce maintenance expenses, and satisfy our customer’s needs we would be failing our clients if we did not offer those solutions.

I do want to make clear that this does not mean we are abandoning systems or solutions that we have deployed for ourselves or our customers. There are still many Microsoft products that we have developed significant expertise in and invested time in creating custom experiences for our customers. I still believe that there are many Microsoft products that are the best in the industry and can save organization’s money by increasing productivity or decreasing long term expenses associated with a particular piece of software.

We have always believed in finding the right solution for ourselves and our customers. Part of finding the right solution is making sure that solution integrates with the customer’s existing systems and the users will easily be able to learn the new system. This means that we will use open source software only where it fits. If we cannot integrate something well into existing processes and systems in a way that will make the user’s work easier, we wont use the software.