Novell in productivity deal with Dept of Environment

28 Apr 2004

Network software vendor Novell has signed a major deal with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government to replace the department’s entire email and calendaring system with Novell’s GroupWise 6.5 platform.

The Novell GroupWise system roll-out to the Department provides secure, reliable messaging and calendaring services to over 1,200 Department staff throughout the country, and has replaced a variety of other disparate messaging systems including Microsoft Exchange, ccMail and Lotus Notes.

The deployment means civil servants can securely transfer and access information (including e-mail, calendaring and instant messaging) from and between geographically dispersed locations in Ireland and abroad.

According to Kevin McAteer, business development manager at Novell Ireland, GroupWise was selected for its stability, security and range of functionality. The Novell GroupWise resistance to e-mail propagated viruses provides the Department with increased productivity and resilience by cutting down the number of employee initiated viruses. The Novell GroupWise functionality will also be available to all mobile users via the use of laptops, PDA’s, Webtops and Wireless Devices.

The benefits of this solution have been immediately realised, according to David Carroll, Senior Technical Officer at the Department, with recognition and praise coming from senior Departmental officials on the functionality and access capabilities which were recently put to the test at an EU Presidency conference in Malaysia.

During the month long conference, departmental officials used Novell GroupWise WebAccess to access their calendar and e-mail as if they were in their office in Ireland.

According to Aidan Sullivan, ICT Network Manager, Department of the Environment: “This is the first time that the department has had a unified messaging and collaboration system and was necessary in advance of Ireland’s presidency of the EU. Our investment in Novell GroupWise and other Novell Enterprise solutions through our involvement in Novell’s Strategic Enterprise Agreement (SEA) has meant a ‘Quantum Leap’ for us in terms of ability to deliver reliable secure services and allow us now to begin to look at delivering additional services around identity by leveraging the other Novell technologies in the SEA.”

Paul Fleming, Synopsis Consulting, said: “Organisations like the Department need the ability to invest in a messaging system which doesn’t have to be replaced anytime there are changes to other systems, such as server operating systems, and which are based on open standards and have proved highly resistant to the plague of email borne virus attacks.”

Novell GroupWise, Fleming continued, is a cross platform messaging and collaboration system capable of running natively on Novell NetWare, Linux or Windows. “We implemented these technologies seamlessly with the Department’s infrastructure. The rollout was implemented without problem having rigorously tested the cluster environment and fail-over since installation with zero downtown.”

By John Kennedy