About Leicester City Council
Leicester City Council delivers a complete range of municipal services to almost 300,000 people. The Council provides around 800 services, covering housing, welfare, urban regeneration, culture and more, with a total annual budget of around £270 million. Additional services are provided through community partners and local authorities.
Leicester City Council wanted to migrate to a more modern and flexible operating system for core services such as file serving, print management, user management and networking.
Equally, the Council wanted to replace its existing Pegasus Mail solution, which lacked integrated calendaring and collaboration tools, and left users reliant on e-mail to set up internal and external meetings.
Leicester City Council opted to migrate its existing network, file and print services to Open Enterprise Server running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise. The Council deployed the software on new HP servers with HP EVA storage arrays.
"Open Enterprise Server running on Linux gave us continuity with our previous ways of working, combined with new options for the future," said Kamal Kotecha, Server Manager for Leicester City Council. "We were able to continue using the rich set of Novell (now a part of Micro Focus) tools to manage our network resources, which meant that the transition and training costs were low."
For its new e-mail and collaboration platform, Leicester City Council chose to implement GroupWise. For all office-based employees and the many staff based in social welfare centres, museums and leisure centres, GroupWise provides a single, integrated personal workspace for e-mail, calendaring and collaboration.
"The previous e-mail platform had reached the end of its useful life, and the lack of support and development were critical issues," said Kotecha. "We considered other solutions, but GroupWise offered the right functionality and better value for money. Total cost of implementation and ongoing ownership were key selection criteria, and GroupWise was considerably more cost-effective on both counts."
The Council uses Micro Focus eDirectoryTM to manage its user accounts for GroupWise. To monitor system usage and access, Leicester City Council has deployed SentinelTM, which provides automated audit and security services across all user accounts.
"If a user tries to change their authorisation rights, delete files or make other system alterations, Sentinel automatically notifies us," said Marlo Valente, Head of IT for Enterprise Services. "Sentinel also audits our Microsoft Active Directory environment, with similar reporting and control, which helps to reduce our system administration costs."
Migrating to Open Enterprise Server enabled the Council to preserve existing tools such as Micro Focus iPrint and Micro Focus iManager, while introducing a more open and flexible Linux-based operating system. This also allowed for a simple, low-risk migration and minimal re-training for existing IT support staff.
With GroupWise , Leicester City Council employees and community partners are enjoying secure, reliable e-mail, fully integrated with shared calendaring and collaboration tools. The City is able to manage and confirm meeting attendance more efficiently - and with hundreds of sites to co-ordinate, this is a significant benefit.
"GroupWise enables us to provide secure, encrypted e-mail to relevant departments out of the box," said Kotecha. "Connectors are available for community partners' e-mail systems, so we avoid additional development effort and costs."
Sentinel has improved the security and auditability of the Council's network. The solution has also removed the need to manually investigate security issues and conduct audits, saving time and effort for the IT department.
"The support and service from Novell (now a part of Micro Focus) across the various new solutions has been excellent," said Valente. "We have already seen significant benefits in terms of reduced administration and increased productivity, and we look forward to extending our set of solutions to include Identity Manager and Micro Focus® Vibe.