Linux gets positive bill of health

By   |  September 15, 2004

Using Linux, Interpharm Data Systems processes claims for half of the country\’s medical providers and pharmacies. The company handles about one million transactions a month, valued at R200 million. This is one of the successful \”business-ready\” Linux installations that is being highlighted on a new website (Linux.co.za) launched last week to promote Linux and open source software.

Interpharm chose Linux and runs half of its claims on it, while the other half runs on its existing mainframes. Another case study details how Spoornet is investigating deploying Linux to run its signalling and in the Transnet subsidiary as a whole.

Chemical giant AECI\’s explosives division also uses Linux, and is one of the success stories referred to. \”The thing with explosives is if you get it wrong people die,\” says Linux.co.za founder Nevo Hadas.

After years of being seen as a geek project and the software used to run websites such as Google and eBay, Linux is gaining ground as an alternative for personal computers instead of Windows. Last month, Translate.org.za released versions of OpenOffice, an increasingly popular alternative to Microsoft\’s Office, in Zulu, Northern Sotho and Afrikaans.

Novell is opening a local support centre, partnering with local black empowered company, says its marketing director Stafford Masie; while IBM hopes to open a Linux centre of competence this year to demonstrate proof of concept installations.

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