AsureQuality is the most qualified and internationally accredited supplier of food safety and biosecurity services in the southern hemisphere. More than 1,700 AsureQuality staff at nearly 100 locations throughout Australasia are responsible for auditing, inspecting and certifying food quality and food management systems. This activity ensures quality and safety in foods sold locally and on the export market.
AsureQuality was formed from the merger of two government organisations, AgriQuality and ASURE, and needed to combine the IT infrastructures of both entities into an effective whole. In particular, the combined organisation wanted to create a single central repository for user identity information that would simplify authentication processes for its employees.
AsureQuality also wanted to extend its existing programme of centralising and consolidating its IT infrastructure, to make it more reliable and easier to manage. The underlying goals are to make IT more responsive to the changing requirements of the business and to free up IT staff from routine maintenance, enabling them to contribute more value to the business.
To continue on this path, the organisation wanted to update key elements of its software landscape–from operating systems through to desktop management–and chose to expand its use of Novell technologies.
Working with Gen-i, a major integrated IT and telecommunications specialist in New Zealand and Australia, AsureQuality had implemented several Novell solutions: Novell Open Enterprise Server, SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server, Novell ZENworks®, Novell eDirectory™ and Novell Access Manager.
For its identity and security management requirements, AsureQuality is now integrating its Microsoft Active Directory and Novell eDirectory environments to create a single, central identity vault. As well as enabling one-step authentication for Web-based applications via Novell Access Manager, the central identity vault will reduce complexity for internal users.
"We have a mixture of Microsoft and Novell directories: some specialist applications in our laboratories and all of the former ASURE systems require Active Directory," said Lynley Lee, ICT Infrastructure Manager at AsureQuality. "In the future, we want to drive all authentication for internal and external users from the central identity vault based on eDirectory, so that users have only a single set of credentials to remember. Not only will that reduce the burden on users; it will also make it easier for us to manage security across the infrastructure."
AsureQuality continues to migrate applications and databases to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Novell Open Enterprise Server, from both NetWare and Microsoft Windows. "We have a strategic policy to run software on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server wherever possible," said Lee. "This decision is based on the superior stability, reliability and security of SUSE Linux Enterprise. We are focused on reducing time spent tuning, patching and restarting servers, thereby changing our focus to the delivery of business applications."
To keep its dispersed PC estate running effectively, AsureQuality continues to rely on Novell ZENworks Desktop Management. The software enables IT staff to manage software deployment and automate security updates from a central point of control, and to troubleshoot and repair machines remotely.
Using Novell solutions, AsureQuality has built a robust, highly secure infrastructure that offers optimal support for the organisation's distributed workforce at low total cost of ownership.
"The Novell technology meets our primary strategic objective: that the infrastructure should be a totally reliable, effectively invisible support for the business," said Lee. "Using Novell solutions releases us from routine administration and troubleshooting: the IT team now spends 50 percent more time working on value-add products and services."
Novell ZENworks has accelerated the rollout of new applications by a factor of five and helped reduce helpdesk calls by more than 20 percent. More than half of all support requests are resolved immediately and remotely, keeping costs low and users productive.
"With Novell ZENworks, we can provide IT assistance to users wherever they are, saving time and money," said Lee. "The imaging and deployment of applications is extremely refined in Novell ZENworks, and rather than waste time trying to fix obscure problems, we can simply re-image an entire desktop if it stops working."
"Working with Novell continues to pay significant dividends in terms of improving the price-performance of our IT organisation," said Lee. "The Novell solutions have enabled us to significantly improve our service delivery and response times, making us more of an asset to the business as it evolves."