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The Hotel Camino Real

Seeking to improve the security and scalability of its e-mail system, the Hotel Camino Real migrated from Microsoft Exchange to Novell GroupWise.. The solution has boosted productivity by easing the associated administrative workload and increasing opportunities for employee collaboration.

Overview

The Hotel Camino Real is part of the Ángeles Group, which owns hospitals, a TV and radio station and 29 hotels. The hotel has 700 rooms and offers a range of amenities, including conference rooms, a travel agency and gym in an eight acre complex in Mexico City.

“Novell GroupWise has proven its performance and reliability, more than satisfying our expectations... Since the implementation, it has needed barely any upkeep, a massive advantage for our staff who are free to focus on more profitable work.”

Alsacia Sanchez
IT Director
The Hotel Camino Real

Challenge

Over the last two years, the Hotel Camino Real has experienced considerable growth. The hotel's IT staff encountered significant issues when it came to scaling up the existing e-mail solution - Microsoft Exchange Server - to meet these new demands.

"As our business grew, we wanted to add new users and make changes to the e-mail system at short notice," said Alsacia Sanchez, IT Director at the Hotel Camino Real. "We found that Microsoft Exchange made this process unnecessarily complex, and we hoped to find an alternative that would give us greater flexibility."

The Hotel's IT staff was spending a substantial proportion of time and resources dealing with a large administrative burden and numerous virus attacks.

"Our system was very vulnerable to viruses," said Sanchez. "This placed a strain on resources, and our staff was forced to neglect other duties to focus on tackling security breaches. We saw the opportunity to improve this situation by implementing a more robust solution which required less upkeep."

Solution

The Hotel Camino Real conducted a cost-benefit analysis to compare offerings from a number of software vendors. Novell GroupWise emerged as the clear winner in terms of cost and stability.

"This was a highly significant upgrade for us, as the e-mail system is vital to our day-to-day operations," said Sanchez. "As long-time users of Microsoft Exchange, we needed to be confident that the improvements in performance would be worth the disruption of moving to a new solution. It was the balance of stability and scalability that convinced us Novell GroupWise was exactly right for us."

The hotel had been steadily migrating to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as its strategic operating system, and took the opportunity to run Novell GroupWise on this platform as well.

"SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is our operating system of choice," said Sanchez. "We wanted our e-mail system to be similarly virus-resistant, and so it made sense to select Novell GroupWise."

The hotel worked with Novell Consulting in Mexico to migrate its e-mail solution to Novell GroupWise. The joint team completed the migration of 1,500 users rapidly, with minimal downtime.

"The transparency and speed of the migration process really impressed us," said Sanchez. "The seamless transition to Novell GroupWise 7 has encouraged us to plan an upgrade to version 8 in the near future."

The Hotel Camino Real also takes advantage of the collaboration features in Novell GroupWise, using the calendar sharing functionality to increase employee productivity. This allows users to publish their calendars so that colleagues both within and outside the organization can search their schedules.

"Novell GroupWise has introduced new tools for collaboration and teamwork," said Sanchez. "Our employees find it much easier to arrange meetings using the shared calendar functionality."

“Introducing Novell GroupWise was an excellent decision for the Hotel Camino Real, as its contribution to the business cannot be underestimated in terms of performance, resilience, value and stability.”

Alsacia Sanchez
IT Director
The Hotel Camino Real

Results

"Novell GroupWise has proven its performance and reliability, more than satisfying our expectations," said Sanchez. "It has provided a definite improvement over Microsoft Exchange, especially in terms of administration. Since the implementation, it has needed barely any upkeep, a massive advantage for our staff who are free to focus on more profitable work."

Moving from Microsoft Exchange to Novell GroupWise has enabled the Hotel Camino Real to realize its aim to expand capacity as the business grows, without purchasing additional servers or hiring more staff.

"Adding new users is a straightforward process with Novell GroupWise - we no longer have the headaches we experienced when trying to expand with Microsoft Exchange," said Sanchez. "We can make changes and customizations to support our users, without worrying about disrupting e-mail communications which are critical to our business."

Novell GroupWise Messenger means employees can move beyond interacting exclusively through e-mail chains.

"Novell GroupWise Messenger helps users solve problems in real-time rather than relying on exchanging e-mails, which can be time-consuming and unhelpful," said Sanchez. "Our users work more closely with one another - they have new, simpler ways to interact and have an e-mail solution they know they can rely on."

Following the successful migration to Novell GroupWise, the Hotel Camino Real is already looking to the future.

"Introducing Novell GroupWise was an excellent decision for the Hotel Camino Real, as its contribution to the business cannot be underestimated in terms of performance, resilience, value and stability," said Sanchez. "We look forward to upgrading to version 8 soon, confident that it will add further benefits to our business."

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