Viable provides next-generation video relay services for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons that can be accessed wherever there is Internet or wireless connectivity, opening them to a world of communication possibilities. Viable is a private, deaf-owned company, and the majority of its employees are deaf and hard of hearing and are personally vested in the innovation and development of the company's products and services.
Viable is nearly tripling in growth each year as a leader in the fast-growing video relay service industry. Opening a new call center every month, the IT staff was constantly on the road. The company needed a solution to speed up the time to set up new call centers and to provide remote management across worldwide locations.
Viable was quickly outgrowing its unsupported operating system and required a more scalable enterprise platform to better support the growth of its business.
Viable considered several desktop management solutions, including Altiris, before selecting Open Workgroup Suite which includes Novell ZENworks® Configuration Management. The company also selected Open Enterprise Server, running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise, as its enterprise operating platform.
"We are an open source company so the idea of getting a powerful suite of products that run on Linux was exciting for us," said Jason T. Yeh, VP of Technology at Viable, Inc. "Novell Open Workgroup Suite provides solutions for us in multiple areas including network services, remote desktop management, centralized authentication, as well as collaboration and teaming."
Viable worked with Mavenspire, a Novell Gold PartnerSM, to implement Open Workgroup Suite and immediately began using ZENworks Configuration Management to set up new call centers in days, instead of weeks. The company now ships computers directly to its new call centers and can image them remotely, rather than at headquarters.
"ZENworks Configuration Management has been a lifesaver for us as we no longer have to send a whole team to set up a new call center," said Jeremy Shaffner, Director of IT at Viable, Inc. "With remote management, a few technicians can get things up and running in no time."
Viable's IT staff can now distribute applications and patches remotely from a central location, reducing the need to travel to multiple locations. Using remote control functionality, the helpdesk staff can provide immediate support and quickly re-image a machine if necessary.
"ZENworks Configuration Management allows us to standardize all of our computers and update them on our own schedule so there is no user disruption," said Shaffner. "The stability of our call center applications is critical as any interruption can affect the quality of a customer's video phone call. Providing a consistent user experience for our interpreters is also important to maintain productivity."
Viable moved from a hosted e-mail solution to Novell GroupWise® running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for enterprise e-mail and collaboration. GroupWise Messenger provides secure instant messaging and GroupWise Mobile Server and BlackBerry Enterprise Server for GroupWise support its mobile users.
Using Novell Vibe® (Formerly Novell Teaming), Viable is creating online workspaces for employees to collaborate across all locations. Vibe makes it easy to manage shared files, coordinate tasks and share ideas via forums, wikis and blogs. For customer service employees, the teaming sites will serve as a centralized knowledge base and a place to share best practices.
"Novell is the best option for an enterprise looking for comprehensive open source solutions from a single vendor," said Michael Tanenhaus, president of Mavenspire.
"Mavenspire has been a great partner to work with as we upgrade our infrastructure to better support and manage our growing environment," said Shaffner. "They are very knowledgeable about Linux and provided the right expertise to deploy our Novell solutions across our enterprise."
By implementing Open Workgroup Suite, Viable now has a more scalable platform, and a suite of applications to meet the needs of its business. Using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and built-in Xen virtualization, the company has consolidated its HP hardware by 20 percent.
With ZENworks Configuration Management, the company can set up a new call center in days, rather than weeks. The IT staff can configure hardware on-site, rather than at headquarters, which has reduced shipping costs by 70 percent. The ability to manage call centers remotely has reduced travel costs by 50 percent and support costs by 30 percent.
"Without Novell and Mavenspire, there is no way we could keep pace with the needs of our business," said Shaffner. "We can't afford to have IT people at all our locations. We estimate that our Novell solutions paid for themselves in the first year."