POPULAR CHICKEN fast food
chain Nando's is reconsidering its future in open source for its restaurants
countrywide and is considering migrating its store management and back office
systems back to Microsoft-based products.
Currently, onsite support at
all Nando's stores is done by Advanced Desktop Solutions, while Obsidian Systems
administrates their systems remotely.
Errol Epstein, MIS director at
Nando's, says due to the high cost of support all plans have been put on
"We don't have major software
development plans for the new year. We are looking at testing Microsoft products
for the next year to 18 months and then we will make a decision.
"We have the basic skills
in-house to do our own support on Windows- based systems. Issues such as
changing a network card or installing the necessary drivers is pretty much plug
and play on Microsoft. With Linux this is not the case. If something simple has
to be changed at each of our 140 stores, you can imagine what costs we are
running into at up to R450 an hour," he says.
He says that while the
argument of lower total cost of ownership on Linux was the case a few years ago,
the environment certainly has changed. However, Nando's servers at its head
office will remain on the Linux platform, he says.
"We have yet to make a decision. We are doing a proper evaluation and will make our choice based on the facts. Microsoft's licensing costs is an issue that we should look long and hard
at. What we currently have works, and it works exceptionally well, but we will
have to see what the sensible and cost-effective roadmap will be for our
franchisees for the coming years," he concludes.