Aberdeen City Council has introduced a new e-mail and collaborative working system for 3,500 employees using technology from Novell.
The council went to full European tender for the contract, and bidders included Microsoft and Lotus.
Debra Storr, business analyst for finance and ICT services at the council, said that many products on the market offered broadly similar capacity for e-mail and diary function, and it was the ability of Novell’s GroupWise product to connect with third-party software via open standards which set it apart from the competition.
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“Novell’s third-party links are extensive and we can plug in many other products in the future," she said. "GroupWise comes with a level of document management. In the future we plan to link the product to document management systems and perhaps integrate with a CRM system."
The council previously relied on disparate e-mail and calendar products using Pegasus and Lotus Organiser. It was already using Novell’s directory software, which gave GroupWise some advantage but not enough on its own to automatically select the product, said Steve Rose, project leader for finance and ICT services at Aberdeen Council.
The Novell system will also support browser-based e-mail and calendaring for remote workers as well as synchronisation for mobile devices.
Taking six months from planning to implementation, a joint council-Novell team deployed a six-node NetWare 6.5 cluster running GroupWise 6.5.
* Novell has released Linux security software to make it harder for new internet attacks to compromise existing Linux-based computers. The AppArmor software limits an active application's privileges to those absolutely necessary.
Novell's main Linux rival Red Hat launched a similar tool last year.