Aberdeen City Council has introduced an e-mail and collaborative working system from Novell for 3,500 employees.
The council went to full European tender for the contract and received bids from all the major suppliers in the e-mail and groupware market, including Microsoft and Lotus.
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Although the products offered broadly similar capacity for e-mail and diary functions, the ability of Novell's Groupwise product to connect with third-party software via open standards set it apart from the competition, said Debra Storr, business analyst, finance and ICT services at Aberdeen City Council.
"Novell's third-party links are extensive and we can plug in many other products in the future. 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," she said.
The council had previously relied on disparate e-mail and calendar products using Pegasus and Lotus Organiser. It was already using Novell's directory software, which did give the product some advantage but not enough on its own to make it an automatic choice, said Steve Rose, project leader for finance and ICT services at Aberdeen City Council.
The Novell system will 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 internet attacks to compromise Linux-based computers. The Apparmor software limits a running software program's privileges to only those absolutely necessary.
Novell's Linux rival Red Hat launched a similar tool last year.