Canada Win Boosts StarOffice Prospects In India

by Hinesh Jethwani    Jun 09, 2004

In the largest-ever StarOffice 7 shipment so far in North America, the Ontario Ministry of Education has acquired licenses for all of Canada’s 72 public and Catholic school boards, covering more than 2.5 million students.

Stéphane Boisvert, president of Sun Microsystems of Canada, said, “With our no-cost StarOffice 7 site licenses for education institutions, the Ministry of Education has saved up to $25 per student compared to what a large-scale commercial institution would usually pay per user.”

So how does the Star Office market look like back home? Speaking to CXOtoday, Manish Kapoor, country manager - software, Sun Microsystems India, explained, “Since many of our existing customers have been our reference for future clients both in India and abroad, such wins overseas will definitely add to the strength of Sun’s position in India. We have most likely tripled sales volumes since the initial launch period. The demand has emerged across diverse verticals, with a predominantly strong interest from the SMB segment.”

Detailing Sun’s academic pricing strategy, Kapoor said, “The enterprise rates and the academic license fees in India for StarOffice 7 are priced at least 70% apart. Microsoft already has a footprint in the market, and its special MS Office license for academic institutions is a part of its ’catch them young’ philosophy. Special academic pricing schemes facilitate the learning process involved with the acceptance of new technologies in the market. The State of Tamil Nadu has already purchased StarOffice licenses for its affiliated schools and universities.”

Sun’s involvement at the elementary and secondary levels continues to grow in Canada, as schools across the country embrace Star Office software. Schools at all levels have chosen Star Office instead of more expensive office productivity products because they can re-invest saved funds into other projects for students.

Elaborating the future roadmap, Kapoor concluded, “We are trying to rope in ISV’s for building specialized applications as additions into the StarOffice suite. This will help us gain a significant push in specialized domains. Like for e.g. a simple tool that includes a medical dictionary can prove to be a boon for the medical transcription industry.”

Tags: StarOffice