Based in Unkel, Germany, Rabenhorst produces and distributes a wide range of fruit and vegetable juices, special foods for people with food intolerances and allergies, and organically produced wines. Rabenhorst now distributes around 400 premium products to specialist health food shops and pharmacies.
Rabenhorst was running Microsoft Exchange Server as its e-mail platform on Microsoft Windows* NT4. The solution was reaching the end of its useful life and vendor support had expired. To minimize the risk to the business, Rabenhorst needed to upgrade or move to a new platform.
Rabenhorst had also suffered a serious loss of data on its existing communications platform. The security was not watertight, and an incident involving access by unauthorized persons led to the corruption of the e-mail database structure and the loss of around two weeks’ worth of e-mail communications.
With some sales orders and practically all internal communications dependent on e-mail, Rabenhorst needed to resolve the security, reliability and support issues for its e-mail platform. The company also wanted to extend e-mail services to the handheld devices used by its field sales staff and executive management, and to begin to integrate voice communications into the same system.
Rabenhorst investigated three options: an upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange, or a migration to Lotus Notes* or Novell GroupWise. Based on a comparison of price and functionality, Rabenhorst opted to migrate to Novell GroupWise running on NetWare®.
“We were already running file and print services on NetWare, and our positive experience of that platform in terms of security, reliability, performance and support encouraged us to introduce Novell GroupWise,” said Claude Greiner, Head of IT Department, Haus Rabenhorst O. Lauffs GmbH & Co. KG.
Rabenhorst has approximately 100 standard users who use Novell GroupWise for e-mail, shared calendaring and task management. A further 15 power users – field sales staff and executive board members – also have mobile support through Novell GroupWise Mobile Server. This solution provides secure access to e-mail, calendar appointments, contacts, tasks and notes from the users’ PDAs and data-enabled mobile phones, with the ability to view most attachments.
“Novell GroupWise has now been running for more than one year, and we have never experienced any problems,” said Greiner. “E-mail is a vital part of our corporate communications, so the high availability provided by Novell GroupWise helps keep the business running smoothly.”
Novell GroupWise Mobile Server extends the benefits of secure and stable e-mail to Rabenhorst’s field sales staff, increasing their productivity and job satisfaction. “The ability to push e-mail and other collaborative tools out to mobile workers is a major benefit, helping our employees to maximise their productivity wherever they are,” said Greiner. “Novell GroupWise Mobile Server also helps to eliminate wasted time and journeys if a client or partner cancels a meeting at short notice.”
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