About Mirza International
Mirza International Limited is a leading manufacturer of leather accessories and footwear. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company markets its products across the globe. Mirza International has a fully integrated in-house shoe production facility backed by a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, a tannery with its own pollution treatment plant, and a dedicated design studio in London, UK.
Mirza International had approximately 300 workstations running various releases of Microsoft Windows—predominantly XP, but also 2000 and 98—along with workstations running Mac OS for its design teams. The company was dissatisfied with the high licensing costs for Windows XP, particularly given that the platform offered low reliability and security. Following a series of malware issues, and despite having invested heavily in firewall technologies, the company was forced to restrict access to external Web sites, creating significant dissatisfaction among users.
Facing the need to invest in new desktop operating system licences, and unwilling to invest in either Windows XP or Vista, Mirza International looked for an alternative platform that would provide high availability with a low total cost of ownership. The company was keen to find a solution backed by enterprise-class support, in particular to ensure a smooth migration path away from Windows.
Mirza International determined that SUSE® Linux Enterprise Desktop would meet all of its objectives, providing a low-cost, fully supported operating system that would address security and reliability issues.
"We looked at some free-of-charge Linux distributions, but we were not comfortable with making a strategic switch to a platform that didn't offer professional support," said Shuja Mirza, VP - Marketing, Mirza International. "Novell understood that while we wanted to reduce our licensing costs, we could not compromise on support—and they offered a full support package with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, including onsite support options."
With no existing internal experience of Linux at Mirza International, the support and assistance offered by Novell played a key role in the success of the migration from Windows to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. In spite of their ongoing frustrations around reliability and security of Windows, users were initially reluctant to make the move to Linux. Novell provided a series of onsite teaching sessions and seminars, and users quickly realised that SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop provided a user-friendly workspace.
"The Novell team provided excellent support during the 20 days it took to complete the migration, helping us to make the cultural change to Linux," said Mirza. "Once users got over their initial reservations, the migration was a great success. All of our major business applications—including J D Edwards and Oracle—run perfectly and are fully supported by the vendors on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. So for the vast majority of our users, the migration to Linux simply meant a significant improvement in reliability and security."
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop ships complete with the highly secure and user-friendly Firefox Web browser, plus OpenOffice.org Novell Edition—a free alternative to Microsoft Office that offers compatibility with Microsoft file formats.
"Besides being just 25 percent of the cost of an equivalent solution from Microsoft, the Novell solution comes complete with a full support package," said Mirza. "It also includes a full-featured office productivity package, giving us practically all the functionality of Microsoft Office at zero cost."
In addition to the 75 percent cost savings achieved by migrating from Microsoft Windows to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, Mirza International has gained a stable, reliable and secure platform for business operations. Staff are now free to use external Web sites for their work, and no longer suffer loss of productivity through system outages.
"In five months of using SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, I have not experienced a single problem—the platform is as reliable as Mac OS, but at a fraction of the cost," said Mirza. "In the past, our employees were continually frustrated by reliability issues, and we were spending significant time and effort on manual fixes. Since we migrated to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, the troubleshooting workload has fallen by something like 95 percent–freeing up IT staff to focus on other issues."
The adoption of Linux has also enabled cost reductions in other areas, removing the need to buy antivirus software and providing a powerful remote desktop capability that has enabled Mirza International to eliminate its Citrix licences.
"Migrating to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop has been a highly successful project," said Mirza. "The combination of lower costs and higher reliability is a great business benefit."