[K12OSN] RE: Help to convince school

Terrell Prude', Jr. microman at cmosnetworks.com
Thu May 13 11:41:23 UTC 2004

If that's the case, then it sounds like he's already made his decision.  
He's like my school district (the blame game). 

People have got to learn to accept that there is no "blame" if the 
business case is there.  K12LTSP and other Free Software is not only a 
good business case, but it's simply the right thing to do.  If he's 
looking for a place to point his finger, then he needs to stick with 
Windows.  Then, he can stay busy pointing fingers while he's rebuilding 
how many boxes; meanwhile, the kids' access to technology is now degraded.

I'm going to suggest what sounds like heresy.  Agree with him about his 
Windows desire and offer to help push it forward!  Yes, you read that 
right.  Then, when the next Sasser, MSBlaster, or Nachi comes out (and 
it will), and the higher-ups are asking what can be done to stop 
this...then you have your iron-clad case, while their minds are actually 
focused on the problem.  Then you present your case to this dude's 
bosses, saying, "This dude and I were discussing an idea that was 
designed specifically for K12, and it's immune to these viruses," etc.  
Give him credit for "coming up with the original idea", in front of all 
the bosses, and make clear that "_we_ think it'll really work well, and 
_we_ would like to do a small pilot to try it out."  Notice the 
prodigious use of the word "we" here.  This has two effects:

1.)  It makes him look good for coming up with an idea that, yes, you 
came up with.  That's just how government managers seem to work, so he's 
getting stroked in front of his bosses for free.

2.)  He'll have more political trouble saying "no, no, I didn't come up 
with an idea that might solve our virus problem."  This is especially so 
since *you* would then be appearing to his bosses like you're the team 
player here, and not him.

Yes, it's dirty pool, and yes, it's sneaky.  But I've seen it work in 
other areas.  After the smashing success that K12LTSP will provide (and 
it will), then he looks like a hero and must at least privately--if only 
to himself--admit that you were right, meanwhile, naturally, taking all 
the credit.  Let him; our initial goal--infiltration--will at that point 
have been achieved.


daniel.hunt at iibbank.ie wrote:

>Another thing he was slightly worried about was the level of support
>available for him. I wasn't able to convince him that there's a never ending
>supply of _free_ support. Any help you need, yuo can get information from
>the internet, and in most cases from the actual designers of the system
>(like k12LTSP for example)
>He is basically looking for someone to take the blame if the system gets
>foo-barred. As a windows consultation company would - you know?
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jim Hays [mailto:haysja at sages.us]
>Sent: 12 May 2004 17:39
>To: Support list for opensource software in schools.
>Subject: Re: [K12OSN] RE: Help to convince school
>When it comes down to it, there is only one way to sell K12LTSP.  Money, 
>money, money.
>Do a comparison of costs between replacing an exising lab with new 
>computers and MS software and "replacing" the lab with a new server 
>using the existing computers as clients (even with new monitors, 
>keyboards, and mice) and interest will be there.  Do NOT forget to 
>include the cost savings on managing the lab.
>A comparison of replacing (assume 25 computers in a lab) with new MS 
>computers (at about $1000 each) compared to reusing existing computers 
>with new monitores, keyboards, and mice (~$250 each) and a server 
>(~$3000) and the difference will turn some heads quickly.
>Sell the cost savings to the "higher ups" and the teachers will be 
>forced to follow.
>Using this approach, you can show how much their "pet" software really 
>costs.  General applications (web browser, office suite, email client, 
>graphics manipulation, etc) are free, included, and fully tested in 
>K12LTSP.  You get to find out how much Aceelerated Reader, etc, really cost.
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