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Dallas Police Department Success Story

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Posted: 4 Aug 2003
 

Novell NetMail eliminates paper-intensive processes by extending e-mail access to 3,500 employees.

Overview

Since its creation more than one hundred years ago, the Dallas Police Department has taken special pride in helping to make Dallas, Texas a safe place to live, work and visit. Nearly 3,000 sworn officers and 550 civilians make up the department, serving the one million citizens of Dallas.

Challenge

The Dallas Police Department needed a low-cost, e-mail solution for its 3,500 users. Its previous Internet e-mail system lacked an employee lookup feature and wasn't scalable past 2,000 users. And while the City of Dallas uses Novell GroupWise, a robust collaboration tool was more than the police department needed.

In addition, the City of Dallas recently implemented a new court notification system to inform police officers when they are needed to provide testimony in court. Previously, the court was sending written notices to the police department for manual distribution–a time-consuming and inefficient process. By integrating e-mail with the court system, the department could automate the notification process and provide more timely notification to its employees.

Novell Solution

?We needed an e-mail solution that was costeffective and that would not require a duplication of user management. By integrating our e-mail users with Novell eDirectory, we have completely avoided the cost of adding staff to support redundant users.?

?Lieutenant Gene Summers,
IT Manager,
Dallas Police Department

The Dallas Police Department was already using Novell NetWare 6, so evaluating Novell NetMail and its integration with Novell eDirectory was a natural consideration. NetMail also works across multiple platforms, accommodating the department's NetWare and Microsoft* Windows* environment.

"We needed an e-mail solution that was costeffective and that would not require a duplication of user management," said Lieutenant Gene Summers, IT manager for the Dallas Police Department. "By integrating our e-mail users with Novell eDirectory, we have completely avoided the cost of adding staff to support redundant users."

The department uses Novell eDirectory as its central repository for user information. NetMail ties into eDirectory to immediately provide e-mail access to everyone with a network account, and is scalable to accommodate thousands of users and more than a million messages a day. Users now have a single ID and password to access e-mail, based on authentication with eDirectory.

The department also integrated its user information with the court notification system so officers receive timely court notifications via e-mail. With NetMail, the department has reduced its workload by 20 percent and eliminated 100 percent of its paper notifications–more than 2,000 documents a week.

Employees now have 24/7 access to e-mail from any of 17 police department offices, as well as from home. If an employee fails to acknowledge the receipt of a schedule, NetMail forwards the notification to a supervisor, significantly improving the quality of service for notifications.

"With 600 subpoenas a week, we spend approximately $1.7 million a year in overtime for our employees to make court appearances," said Summers. "By using Novell NetMail to instantaneously notify employees of any cancellations or changes, we can efficiently manage taxpayer money."

With Novell BorderManager as its proxy server, the department can ensure that employees access law enforcement applications and Web sites only from work, not from home. Novell BorderManager also helps the department control non-business related activities be giving employees limited Internet access.

"Most cities and states have had to reduce IT staff, so we're always interested in anything that can be integrated and allows us to manage more with less," said Summers. "By integrating everything with Novell eDirectory, we can minimize the staff requirements for our entire network environment."

The department plans to leverage NetMail to eliminate other paper-intensive processes such as distributing legal notices, training bulletins or procedure changes. In the past, the department had to print and distribute this information and each employee had to sign for it. By distributing more information electronically via NetMail, the department will continue to reduce printing and distribution costs.

Results

Novell NetMail provides a low-cost, scalable e-mail solution for 3,500 employees, giving them timely access to information whether in the office or at home. With NetMail, the department has eliminated 100 percent of the paperwork for court notifications and can more efficiently manage its $1.7 million budget for court appearances.

"We have grown up with Novell and love the range of products," said Summers. "With a staff of nine, we can manage our entire Novell environment for 3,500 employees, 2,000 workstations, and 17 remote locations. That's a testimony that it's not a manpower-intensive system."

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