Krampus adopts one free software tool for each month in 2017

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Curious how Krampus is doing this year? Well, as the recently hired manager of Krampus's open source programs office, I'm excited to tell you that we have an ambitious plan to adopt one free software tool during each month of the coming year.

Our story might be useful for other non-software-focused businesses (Krampus, Inc. doesn't currently produce any software) who are also are curious about open source alternatives and want to follow a similar path. To get you in the spirit, I've included all the links that made us feel like 12 months of free and open source software adoption is possible.


The globally distributed team at Krampus, Inc. loves non-synchronous collaboration but hates proprietary software. We're going to start the year by replacing all our non-freely shared productivity tools with an open source alternative. Read: 3 open source alternatives to Office 365.


Krampus is going to be looking for investors early in the year, which means highstakes slide presentations. Image is very important to Krampus, especially since we have some historical challenges to overcome in that department, so first impressions are critical. Finding excellent free presentation software is our next task. Read: 3 open source alternatives to PowerPoint.


Krampus is starting a personal blog, and because he's kind of an old-school guy who really doesn't have time to learn HTML, let alone HTML5, he needs a WYSIWYG solution. The good thing is he's got several open source options available. Read: 4 open source alternatives to Dreamweaver.


On the sales side of things, we're going to need something that we can eventually connect up to our customer database that also gives us simple central control of site-wide branding. Since Krampus, Inc. also cares about accessibility, we're going with Drupal. Read: A step ahead on Drupal 8 with easy accessibility design.


This year we'll be adding Krampus action figures and some adorable, talking dolls to our offerings. Obviously, we'll need a computer-aided design program, and we're happy to say there are several free software options. Read: 3 open source alternatives to AutoCAD.


Last year's ruten production was a nightmare. We lost track of golden twigs in at least three different countries. This year we'll definitely be implementing an open source supply chain management tool. Read: 3 open source software tools for supply chain management.


As our wholesale business grows, we find ourselves in need of solid customer relations management without vendor lock-in. Krampus really, really hates vendor lock-in. Read: Top 6 open source CRM tools.


Krampus, Inc.'s CFO is also a huge fan of dashboards, and lucky for her there are plenty of open source tools to use. Read: 5 open source dashboard tools for visualizing data.


The sales team has a very ambitious schedule of holiday markets to visit this year and plans for a shopping season pop-up store in downtown Boston. We'll need something compatible with the rest of our free software choices for a point-of-sale solution. Read: 8 open source point of sale systems.


Our sysadmin says that any Krampus employees who put passwords on sticky notes in their cubicles will be thrown into a sack and dragged off to Hel. Just kidding… they won't need threats to convince them to use a password manager, will they? Read: 3 open source password managers.


The sales team will be on the road constantly this month, searching for motels and restaurants wherever they go. We cannot allow the minions of our red-suited adversary to track our movements. That's why we'll be using a privacy-focused free software search engine. Read: 7 lessons from DuckDuckGo's Instant Answers project.


After the hullaballoo of Krampusnacht on the 5th, we'll be taking the plunge and choosing a fully free operating system for all our laptops and desktops. It seems like Krampus would be a BSD guy, but I'm going to push for us to choose a Linux distro. Read: Which Linux distribution do you use?

Thanks so much to John Mark Walker for convincing Krampus, Inc. to create an office that supports open source programs and to Jason Baker for writing so many interesting articles on replacing proprietary software with free software. If you'll let me, I'd love to mail you some coal as thanks.

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Deb Nicholson wants to make the world a better place with technology and social justice for all. After many years of local political organizing, she started handling outreach for the Free Software Foundation and became an enthusiastic free software activist. She likes talking to developers about software patents, to project maintainers about leadership and to activists about free software.

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