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Success Story: Contra Costa County Office of Education, and Riva from Omni

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Omni Technology Solutions Inc.

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Posted: 3 Aug 2007

Contra Costa County Office of Education Pushes GroupWise Calendar Items to User Accounts with Riva from Omni

"Our GroupWise users have been asking us to push out holiday schedules, events, meetings and other items to their calendars for a couple of years," said Warren Stewart, Network Project Manager at CCCOE. "With Riva's new Common Calendar Update (CCU) module, we were finally able to make it happen. We are very pleased with CCU and would recommend it to other school districts that use GroupWise."


Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) based in Pleasant Hill, California, provides education programs and services to the County's 254 K-12 schools and 33,000 students. During the past couple of years, several CCCOE schools have requested that holiday schedules, semester start and end dates, events, meetings and other calendar items be pushed out to their users' GroupWise calendars.

This need could not be satisfied using Novell's standard administration tools. Omni Technology Solutions Inc., a leading Novell Technology Partner, filled this gap with the new Riva Collaboration Integration Suite for GroupWise.

Riva leverages the GroupWise Trusted Application architecture and eDirectory connectors to allow administrators to create and push GroupWise and eDirectory content and policies to user accounts from a single workstation. Riva modules include Common Calendar Update, Common Proxy Access, Internet Address Clean-up and Dynamic GroupWise Distribution Lists, Create Folder, Common Address Book and a number of reports.

The Challenge

"Prior to using Omni's Common Calendar Update module, there was no way for us to push common calendar entries to our user accounts with Novell's standard administration tools," said Warren Stewart, Network Project Manager at CCCOE.

"We had tried using shared calendars for this purpose, but that didn't work very well. What we really needed was the ability to create a master calendar in a GroupWise account and control which items get pushed out to the different categories of users," continued Stewart.

"Ideally, the tool would also allow us to use calendar entries stored in CSV files, rather than having to manually enter the data into a GroupWise account before distributing the calendar information to our users."

The Solution

"We have been an Omni customer for a number of years.  When we heard about the Riva GroupWise Collaboration Integration Suite, we jumped at the opportunity to participate in the closed beta testing of the Common Calendar Update module," said Stewart. "The beta experience was excellent.  Every one of the enhancement requests and features that I requested was integrated into the product. We are very pleased with Riva. In addition to CCU, we are looking to implement Riva's Common Proxy Access and GroupWise Proxy Report."

By leveraging the GroupWise Trusted Application architecture and eDirectory connectors, Riva allows administrators to create and push GroupWise and eDirectory policies to user accounts from a single workstation. Riva's CCU module does not require any server-side software or end-user interaction. Administrators simply select a source object (GroupWise account calendar, SQL database, or properly formatted CSV file) and the destination objects (GroupWise account, post office, eDirectory group, eDirectory container) and execute the CCU policy.

Any changes that are made to the source GroupWise account calendar are synchronised with the destination calendars each time the Riva CCU policy is executed. CCU comes bundled with holiday resource files for 51 countries. It supports custom CSV input data files. Riva CCU allows you to control which items get pushed out to which users based on date, appointment, task and note filters.

The Results

"Riva's Common Calendar Update module was very easy to set up and use. Our GroupWise users are thrilled that we can now push out holiday schedules and calendar items to their accounts," said Stewart. "This module is allowing us to achieve higher user satisfaction and extract more value from our GroupWise investment."

"We're starting to think of other ways to use CCU for some of our satellite classrooms. These sites have different schedules and CCU's filtering features will make it easy for us to integrate these schedules into our master GroupWise account or simply use a CSV to push the items out directly."

"Next step is to look at deploying Riva's Common Proxy Access module and GroupWise Proxy Report.  The report will be useful for our annual security audit.  It will allow us to report on all users who have proxy access to other accounts in our systems."

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