About Municipality of De Ronde Venen
The municipality of De Ronde Venen employs approximately 300 people to serve the 35,000 inhabitants of the municipality of De Ronde Venen, located in the Netherlands. The municipality provides services and information for housing, welfare and education.
Employees at the municipality of De Ronde Venen wanted greater flexibility and integration in the way they worked. There was no central repository for information, making it difficult for users to share documents with those outside their own departments.
"Effective communication is crucial for our day-to-day operations," said Richard van Valderen, Technical Advisor at Municipality of De Ronde Venen. "We realised that we could make work easier and more efficient for our employees by giving them the ability to share documents immediately and securely with anybody else in the organisation."
Without the ability to share documents, it was difficult for the municipality's staff to find information they needed quickly and accurately.
"Our employees were spending time tracking down data which could have been spent on more profitable activities, related to service," said van Valderen. "We set out to find a solution which would enable them to work more efficiently and thus provide a better service to the residents of De Ronde Venen."
The municipality of De Ronde Venen was already using Novell GroupWise® and Novell Open Enterprise Server, so selecting Novell Vibe® (formerly Novell Teaming) was a natural choice. However to ensure the organisation was gaining the best fit to its needs, it considered solutions from competing vendors, including Microsoft SharePoint. Following a demonstration of Vibe by the Novell Platinum Partner™ Netflex, the municipality was confident that Vibe offered the best functionality and performance.
"We have been working with Novell solutions for some time, and the outstanding uptime we have experienced was a key factor in our decision to go with Novell over Microsoft," said van Valderen. "Apart from the compatibility of Vibe with our existing infrastructure, it has the features we were looking for at a very reasonable price point."
Netflex performed the entire implementation, providing training sessions for municipal staff to encourage them to explore the full potential of Vibe.
"We were very impressed with the Netflex consultants," said van Valderen. "They were very open during the implementation, allowing our employees to learn a lot just by looking over their shoulders. Their training sessions have inspired enthusiasm for the new technology in everyone at the municipality."
Vibe enables real-time collaboration between staff, allowing them to create virtual working teams and share documents immediately with anyone else in the organisation, introducing a new way of working that encourages creative solutions. Employees are also able to access the systems using handheld mobile devices such as BlackBerry smartphones.
"Vibe has increased the quality of our employees' work as they are able to draw on each others' strengths and opinions," said van Valderen. "Before, document sharing was limited to departments, but now the entire organisation is able to collaborate and work together, even when they are on the move."
The organisation has plans to further develop its use of Vibe, creating an online facility for citizens to contribute their ideas for service improvements. The municipality also recently deployed Identity Manager, and plans to roll out single sign-on capabilities to its employees to enhance security and authentication processes.
The municipality of De Ronde Venen has found that Vibe fits in seamlessly with its existing systems, including GroupWise and Open Enterprise Server, and offers excellent reliability.
"We estimate that we are experiencing 99 percent uptime," said van Valderen. "Our existing Novell solutions have always provided superb reliability, minimising time spent on maintenance and labour costs."
The municipality of De Ronde Venen expects that as employees become accustomed to working with Vibe it will significantly decrease time spent on administration, enhancing productivity. Users can benefit from sharing resources and skills, working together to solve problems more effectively.
"Working with Novell is a pleasure, as they really care about the human aspect of their services," said van Valderen. "Ultimately, the many benefits we have gained from implementing Vibe enable us to achieve our core aim—offering the residents of De Ronde Venen the best possible service."
"The municipality of De Ronde Venen has entered an exciting new phase of technological development, and the compatibility and cost-effectiveness of Novell solutions make them an obvious partner," said van Valderen. "Using Novell technology, we want to give our users and the citizens of De Ronde Velden the tools to make a difference and work together to get the best results."