Starting from scratch ... MSFT, OpenOffice, or something else?
I have a start-up private school that heavily uses CBT, approx 70 students, but will be expanding into multiple campuses rather quickly. Basically the staff uses paper files, spreadsheets, and lots of email all on personal laptops. (Most of them are Mac)
So now it is time for them to pull the trigger and do it right. Email and web hosting is outsourced. They need everything from backup to scheduling, office automation, databases, everything one would expect.
I have already made a decision on smoothwall's firewall/content filtering & for a firewall to separate the students from the office intranet that I will set up.
So now it comes down to the philosophical question ...
Pay the Microsoft tax and go with office, sharepoint, and all the other content management, or use OpenOffice as a foundation (with Intel-based Solaris) , or something else?
Suggestions? I want to learn from all of the coulda' shoulda's and build the right foundation from the start.
P.S. I haven't picked the hardware, but have been a storage/RAID architect for 20 years, so no headaches or questions concerning backup/availability/reliability. I will be using VMWare to virtualize the Smoothwall software, as well as any other machines necessary to get these guys into the 21st century.