“Wine Support” for LibreOffice

Sorry about the “misleading” title.

I mean wine, not wine ;-)

A few weeks ago I saw an interesting sponsorship on LibreOffice.
I took a look at the sponsor profile – Bill Robertson, which took me to his website – www.debortoli.com.au – which is an Australian company that makes and sells wine.
I thought that was interesting because that’s just not the average “corporate visitor” you see on FreedomSponsors. Most of our users come from IT companies.

After some googling I thought De Bortoli Wines was very cool, and it would be nice to contact Mr. Robertson and maybe get an interview from him.

He kindly agreed and here it is!

Can you tell a little bit about yourself and what you do at De Bortoli Wines?

I am a local of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, having lived here most of my life. I have held a variety of IT positions, at several agri-business companies, and like to call myself an IT generalist. I joined De Bortoli Wines in 1995 and moved into the position of IT Manager in 1998.

I have very much  enjoyed the challenges and strategy involved with this executive role. Some of the more exciting projects we have implemented include our Linux Desktop rollout (circa 1995), our “Pentaho” Open Source BI implementation, our custom HTML5 Visual scheduling application (for bottling line scheduling), and our smartphone and tablet rollout (complete with a custom Salesforce app!).

Can you tell some facts about the company, like what size and how old it is?

De Bortoli Wines is a third generation family owned wine business founded in 1928. The Executive Directors are the grandchildren of founder Vittorio De Bortoli, and Darren De Bortoli is our Managing Director.

The business crushes around 80,000 tonnes of grapes and produces a large variety of wines, which are distributed all around Australia, as well as being exported to many major centres around the world. There are two main wineries – one is located alongside our Head Office near the regional NSW city of Griffith, and the other is located in the beautiful countryside of the Yarra region of Victoria and includes our award winning restaurant.

How important is the IT department role in De Bortoli’s operations? How is software important for making and selling wine?

As one of Australia’s largest wine companies there is a lot of complexity to manage – multiple vineyards, wineries and distribution centres, with IT being involved in many of the activities. At an overview level we have systems to purchase grapes and schedule grape deliveries, document winemaking processes, schedule bottling, manage logistics, manage sales (including EDI and tablet based order entry for sales force).

We provide support for our online activities (Websites, Blogs, and B2C activities), EDI (B2B), as well as all the standard ERP style functions (Payables, Receivables, Costing, Inventory, Forecasting, MRP II, DRP, GL and BI, etc).

On the tactical side, we support nine networked sites in Australia (LANs and WAN), several hundred desktop computers (vast majority running single image Linux based on Ubuntu), the usual printer/scanner fleet, and an extensive Android smartphone and tablet fleet.

How much does De Bortoli Wines rely on Free/Open Source Software? Can you give a list of what software you guys use and what for?

Our main focus is on Open Standards, which helps us avoid lock-in, and provides maximum flexibility while minimising long term costs. Our Open Standards focus has often (though not exclusively) led us towards Open Source solutions.

Some Open Source examples include:
* Linux clients (single image desktops running on various flavours of Linux since 2004)
* SAMBA (utilised for over a decade for fileserving and Domain control)
* Red Hat’s 389 LDAP server (for user management)
* Pentaho (ROLAP BI solution)
* Pentaho PDI’s “Kettle” (ETL tool for the majority of our data transformation and integration tasks)
* OCS Inventory (computer inventory system)
* Nagios/Nagvis/Cacti (monitoring)
* TYPO3 (CMS for intranet, extranet, Internet sites)
* Magento
* dotProject
* Shell in a Box (browser based ssh)
* Guacamole (HTML5 clientless remote desktop)
* Linux servers (RedHat and variants such as CentOS and Scientific Linux)
* MySQL/Postgres/PHP/Python/Java/Apache/Tomcat etc

Our Open Source desktop software (Linux and Windows) includes:
* FireFox (since around 2004)
* OpenOffice (also since 2004/2005)
* LibreOffice (currently piloting)
* Inkscape and Gimp
* FileZilla, VLC etc.

And lots and lots of other random stuff such as Eclipse, PhoneGap, JQuery, Scite, JEdit, VNC, “putty”, “Ghostscript” etc etc

Where did you hear about FreedomSponsors?

When we mentioned on a LibreOffice bug report that we would be willing to help sponsor a fix, FreedomSponsors was suggested as a mechanism.

Do you have any suggestion about how FreedomSponsors can help companies like De Bortoli? What else should we do? :-)

I think the main challenge will be to connect all the potential developers with the potential sponsors which will just take time to build the connections.

And of course, spread the word we have bounty on a LibreOffice password bug! (http://www.freedomsponsors.org/core/issue/316/allow-filesave-with-password-for-xlsx-and-other-not-libreoffice-xml-based-formats)

Please leave a ending message for our readers!

The great thing about Open Source is the community, and its nice to have a chance to say thanks. So, Thank you all :)

Thank you Mr. Robertson. I wish success to you and De Bortoli Wines. Please keep supporting Free Software!


  1. We have now successfully tested the sponsored fix (on a LibreOffice 4.2 alpha from nightly builds) and have happily paid out the bounty.

    So, a very successful outcome. Well done and many thanks to all concerned!

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