There's no such thing as a free launch. Not even with open source. Adopting communal code has attracted a fair share of companies with promises of cutting costs. On the other hand, others (viz: Microsoft) will tell you there's higher "hidden" expenses involved with open source in the long-run due to limited support, consulting …
Open source is evil!
"Moving from proprietary Oracle software to open source, Broadwater said the Sesame Workshop reduced its developer team down from 10 to just two — a duo who understand Java and Linux enough to develop under the open source model quickly. And agility is just what it needs."
Open source is the cause of job losses in the IT industry, and is therefore evil.
Go open source and Sack some Staff
As someone that WORKS in IT, the idea of saving a company £1000's by moving to open source, only to place my work mates into the redundancy firing line seems cruel.
Interesting that the focus of the article is of the number of people you can sack if you move to open source. This sounds counter-intuitive as actively participating in open source projects definitely requires more resources as just buying updates. More information on the relation with external shops and support would be helpful as would details about application complexity before and after - many vendors' model unfortunately means that companies buy a lot more than they need and, even worse, often the wrong bits of kit and then spending lots of time and money trying to get them to work. One of open source's virtues can be providing tools that are really suitable for the task in hand.
... they got shot of (low-skilled) front-line support who were employed to parrot "have you turned it off and back on again?" and retained (or hired new) competent professionals.
Generally speaking I've always thought the financial cost of running Open Source compared to Closed Source is the same.
Support costs to vendors, salary paid to staff (normally more for OSS geeks), time to switch over from one to another, training and development costs etc.
In addition, it should be pointed out that the article talks of FREE software, rather than OSS. RHEL's is OSS but the cost for a standard licence with standard support is $799. Windows 2008 standard with standard support is $715.
Free software is great, but I wouldn't deploy any important system into any business without dedicating my time to ensure I'm familiar with it (which coming from a OSS background means I'll pick up OSS quicker than MS - and vice-versa), and I'll also never deploy something critical without support behind it - which requires a support contract which both OSS and closed source vendors seem to charge the same for anyway....
Can't see the point personally. May as well stick to what the techies in the department know the best. After all, it's only a tool!