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Bowled Over: Overwhelmed by the Choices You Have with the New Novell Open Workgroup Suite

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Novell Connection Magazine

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Posted: 5 Oct 2006
 

Bowled Over: Overwhelmed by the Choices You Have with the New Novell Open Workgroup Suite
by Michael Wilkinson
Novell Connection Magazine - Q3 2006

Here's an excerpt:

Suppose that for the last several weeks you have been submitting project proposals to be considered and hopefully included in the 2007 IT budget plan for your company. The overall plan has finally been pulled together and you have been summoned to the final IT budget review. As the meeting opens, your boss thanks everyone for all of the hard work they have put into the budget process. The first slide your boss shows on the screen is a comprehensive list of all the projects that had been submitted. Wow! Besides your projects, many others had been submitted and several had very important and strategic-sounding titles. As the boss moves quickly through the next few slides, you notice the overall dollar figure allocated to next year's budget seems huge, even though it is accompanied by phrases from the boss like "doing more with less" and how it really is possible to "squeeze blood from a turnip." With that much money on the table, you hope more than one of your projects will be funded.

As the final slide comes up, everyone starts to chatter. The normally calm IT demeanor becomes the chaos of dozens of startled exclamations and mini conversations. The title bar reads "Approved 2007 Budget Projects." Why the commotion? Below the title bar you read only three items:

  1. Upgrade Hardware to Support Microsoft Vista
  2. Renew Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (with software assurance)
  3. Roll out Microsoft Vista and Office 2007 (when they are finally available)

You can't believe your eyes. Every strategic project was being put on hold while the entire IT budget was being allocated to (or decimated by) one vendor. When the room is finally quiet, the boss steps back up and thanks everyone again for their hard work and opens the meeting up for questions. As the shock of the plan falls onto the crowd, one of the more senior IT administrators raises his hand. His question is simple: "Are you serious?" The boss' reply, which will forever echo through your mind, was both short and ominous: "What choice do we have?"

You Always Have A Choice
The Novell Open Workgroup Suite was announced at Novell BrainShare 2006. It was highlighted in a recent article in the Novell Connection magazine. (See The New Novell Open Workgroup Suite in the 2nd Quarter 2006 issue or online at novell.com/connectionmagazine/2006/q2/suite_deal.html.) It represents a complete workgroup productivity solution from desktop to server and includes networking and infrastructure services, collaboration tools and resource and systems management–as well as an open desktop environment and office productivity suite. The industry has taken note, and many organizations are already deploying this open, cost-effective alternative to a Microsoft-based workgroup infrastructure. But understanding that other organizations want to make the shift in phases, this article will give you practical ideas on leveraging specific components of the suite to save money, increase flexibility and position you to take advantage of a full, open standards-based solution when the time is right.

If you're reading this article, you more than likely manage NetWare and/or Windows servers and use at least one other Novell solution, for example, GroupWise or ZENworks. You might have dabbled with Linux, extended or repaired directory schemas, and you know that the term GINA refers to a graphical interface for identification and authentication and not your coworker's girlfriend. Every day you arm yourselves to fight in the IT war being waged both inside and outside your company. The reason for battle is clear: The enemy is within the walls. But who or what is the enemy, and how can the Novell Open Workgroup Suite help you in your daily fight?

This is the first in a series of articles in which I will provide steps and strategies to help IT shops, both large and small, identify the enemy within their walls and win the IT war. We'll lay out a battle plan, or roadmap, to successfully get from point A to point B, utilizing many of the tools and solutions found in the Novell Open Workgroup Suite. The technologies included in the Novell Open Workgroup Suite empower you to make choices (rather than locking you in) while helping you be flexible as your IT landscape changes.

Now let's be honest: working in IT is really about minimizing disruption while maximizing productivity, all at a reasonable cost. This article focuses on what you can do today to shore up, extend and protect your current IT investments using just a few of the technologies found in the Novell Open Workgroup Suite; and do so without disruption to your users. In subsequent articles we'll discuss how you can best determine your blend of heterogeneity, and in the process, look for ways to significantly reduce your costs of owning and managing the desktop. I'll also show why the term "Workgroup" is a vital part of the Novell Open Workgroup Suite name, and how it can lead to greater productivity at lower costs.

Finally, I'll explore what it means to bring your company the benefits of Linux in the workgroup and how you can successfully get there.Now let's be honest: working in IT is really about minimizing disruption while maximizing productivity, all at a reasonable cost. This article focuses on what you can do today to shore up, extend and protect your current IT investments using just a few of the technologies found in the Novell Open Workgroup Suite; and do so without disruption to your users. In subsequent articles we'll discuss how you can best determine your blend of heterogeneity, and in the process, look for ways to significantly reduce your costs of owning and managing the desktop. I'll also show why the term "Workgroup" is a vital part of the Novell Open Workgroup Suite name, and how it can lead to greater productivity at lower costs. Finally, I'll explore what it means to bring your company the benefits of Linux in the workgroup and how you can successfully get there.

Read the complete article here


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