About City of Dublin, Ohio
Established as a city 20 years ago, the City of Dublin, Ohio provides services for 40,000 citizens with 500 employees across seven locations. The city has more than 3,000 businesses and is the home of the Jack Nicklaus Memorial Golf Tournament.
As in most city governments, the City of Dublin supports a diverse group of 20 departments and services including police, courts, parks and recreation, facilities, engineering and economic development. Employees often need to work across departments, but found it difficult to share information and coordinate calendars using e-mail alone. Shared folders required IT support and also lacked document management functionality.
City employees began exploring other collaboration solutions including blogs, wikis and conferencing tools. The City's IT staff wanted to find a comprehensive and cost-effective solution that would meet the needs of all departments and be easy to manage.
The City of Dublin had evaluated several collaboration solutions including Microsoft SharePoint and MeetingSpace, before finding the right fit with Novell Vibe® (formerly Novell Teaming + Conferencing).
"Novell Vibe is the only enterprise solution that combines both teaming and conferencing," said Bob Schaber, Network Operations Manager for the City of Dublin, Ohio. "The other products we evaluated were not as robust, yet would have cost ten times as much. They also would have required much more hardware and administration."
With Novell Vibe, users can create virtual workspaces to share and access documents, calendars and discussion forums.
One of the groups using Novell Vibe is EcoDublin, an inter-departmental group focused on green initiatives. The group is now using blogs to share information and comments with one another. Online discussions have made their meetings more effective as the group can discuss many issues ahead of time.
"A huge benefit of Novell Vibe is that teams can manage their own workspaces, without having to rely on IT for help," said Schaber. "When groups come to us with collaboration requests, Novell Vibe is the answer. We have empowered our users to collaborate across departments and locations."
The Geographic Information Systems department uses Novell Vibe to centrally manage its tasks. Their workspace keeps track of all monthly tasks assigned to individual employees and the team can assign tasks to multiple people. The Novell solution enables each team member to track and view the progress of every project.
In the past, employees used a variety of tools to host phone and Web-based conferences. With Novell Vibe, they can log in to a workspace and schedule a group conference call as easily as a meeting. The ability to easily set up Web conferences has also solved the issue of limited meeting space across city locations.
The IT team makes use of the document management functionality to track document revisions dynamically in a central location. For example, the team maintains one version of its weekly status report in its Teaming workspace, rather than sending out several versions via e-mail. The team has a large database of documents that are now easily searchable.
"With Novell Vibe, we have the ability to store and search blogs, documents and discussion forums which is a big benefit that goes beyond traditional file system storage," said Schaber. "It used to be cumbersome to dig through folders, so it was critical that we be able to search all our content."
The City of Dublin runs Novell Vibe on Novell Open Enterprise Server running SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server. Using VMware, the IT staff has created virtualized servers to reduce both hardware and licensing costs.
"We are getting great performance on SUSE Linux Enterprise," said Schaber. "We run Novell Vibe on one virtual server and we have our choice of hardware. We would have needed at least three servers with any other solution."
By standardizing on Novell Vibe, the City of Dublin has a robust and real-time collaboration solution at a cost 90% less than a competing solution. The City estimates that the software has paid for itself in less than a year.
Having a standardized solution that users can administer themselves has reduced overall IT administration time and costs by 75%. The City has improved group productivity across departments, while freeing up IT staff to work on other projects.
"Without standardized methods and applications for collaboration, we were facing huge costs without even knowing it," said Schaber. "There is nothing like Novell Vibe on the market today. With all the needs we have, we couldn't afford not to buy it."