About Wodociagi Bialostockie
Established in 1890, Wodociagi Bialostockie is one of the oldest water suppliers in Poland. The company currently operates three waste water treatment plants, a sewage treatment plant and is also responsible for the water supply and management of all mains for the municipalities of Bialystok and Wasilkow.
With numerous facilities across the Polish municipalities of Bialystok and Wasilkow, each with their own unconnected IT network, Wodociagi Bialostockie faced significant challenges around IT upgrades and fixes. The company's small IT team were forced to travel and update employee PCs manually—a time-consuming and costly approach.
"We were spending hours travelling between offices and plants to roll out upgrades and patches," said Robert Skrzymowski, IT Specialist at Wodociagi Bialostockie. "Once we got there, we often had to implement these on a unit-by-unit basis, meaning a single round of upgrades could take weeks to apply across all locations, costing time and money."
Different departments had difficulty exchanging and sharing data, resulting in high telephone costs and heavy reliance on paper documents. The lack of a centralised control system made it impossible for the company to introduce secure document sharing, which was having a negative impact on employee productivity and efficiency.
Wodociagi Bialostockie deployed Novell Open Workgroup Suite, a complete collaboration package that includes Novell Open Enterprise Server running on Linux, Novell ZENworks® Configuration Management and Novell GroupWise®.
"Novell solutions have proved very stable, cost-effective, secure and flexible in the 20 years we have used them," said Skrzymowski. "It therefore made sense for Novell Open Workgroup Suite to form the basis of our plans for a new network."
The company set up its own web server, running SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server, and an internal service for handling documents. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server provided a stable, secure foundation for the company's physical and virtual mission-critical workloads.
Novell ZENworks Configuration Management offers automated software setup, updates, healing and migration for desktop computers, simplifying IT management at Wodociagi Bialostockie. The IT department can now handle these tasks remotely, eliminating the cost and inconvenience of doing so onsite.
"Novell ZENworks Configuration Management has been a total game-changer for us, as it allows us to roll out updates and patches automatically to all computers in the Wodociagi Bialostockie network," said Skrzymowski. "We save time and money, and can also offer these services immediately to all employees."
Employees at Wodociagi Bialostockie are now able to shared documents easily and securely using Novell GroupWise. This is a particularly useful capability when company employees carry out water tests in remote locations. Using Novell GroupWise they can input data directly into central systems, so that co-workers can immediately edit and analyse it.
"The Novell solution has transformed the way we work with documents," said Skrzymowski. "Rather than manually sharing paper copies of documents, employees can access and edit them directly, supporting our goal to go paper-free, improving the quality of work and speeding up task completion."
Deployment of Novell Open Workgroup Suite at Wodociagi Bialostockie introduced a range of beneficial facilities and improved quality of the IT department's work by enabling faster response and resolution of more complex customer problems. Moreover, the IT department is able now to take full advantage of the vast Novell network of online help, and support of the online community.
"The extraordinarily simple user management offered by the Novell solution has made life a lot easier," said Skrzymowski. "It means that just four IT staff can handle the administration for approximately 200 employees and a network of industrial equipment, avoiding the cost and inconvenience of training new staff. All the components of Novell Open Workgroup Suite that we use have proved highly reliable and stable. In the rare instance that an issue does arise, we know we can simply go online to look for solutions from other users."
Novell ZENworks Configuration Management enables the IT department to remotely monitor workstations in the company network. Reporting facilities provide plenty of data, including the use of software, offering a valuable insight into the company's resource utilisation. Wodociagi Bialostockie now has information on exactly how many assets it has and where they are located, and can ensure rock-solid security.
"It is a great advantage to have a complete and accurate view of all our IT assets at any time," said Skrzymowski. "We are able to see who has which software, what needs upgrading and if someone has installed something unauthorised on their workstation. All this contributes to a more consistent, secure and efficient network. Implementing Novell Open Workgroup has had positive consequences for all users at Wodociagi Bialostockie, facilitating easier management and improving IT performance. Ultimately, this translates into better service to our customers, as our employees can focus on improving customer service and providing them with the highest quality crystal clear water."