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ZENworks helps Australian Social Security Appeals Tribunal streamline operations



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June 20, 2008 12:17 pm

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The proposed solution from Novell was the winner in terms of price, flexibility and keeping our options open for the future – plus Novell had excellent references in other government agencies,” said Greig Morris, Information Technology Business Manager, Social Security Appeals Tribunal. “Novell Consulting provided on-site and remote support and training, helping the implementation to run very smoothly.”

When the Australian Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) expanded its jurisdiction to cover more legislative areas (the Child Support Agency), the inefficiencies in its existing infrastructure were brought into sharp focus.

Many SSAT members work part-time and away from the organisation’s dispersed office locations. With no centralised file server, legal documents stored in one location were effectively unavailable to users in a different location. In addition to causing staff frustration and the duplication of documents across the organisation, the lack of a formal document management system threatened to prevent SSAT from complying with planned national standards for record keeping.

SSAT needed to create a standardised, centrally managed infrastructure that would improve access to information while ensuring adequate security for sensitive legal documents. The organisation also aimed to improve support for remote users and enable them to work more effectively.

SSAT planned to combine a desktop refresh for staff located across seven offices with a server consolidation exercise. The SSAT network included a variety of old and unsupported operating systems, running on distributed hardware that was largely underutilised.

Following an evaluation of offers from several vendors, the organisation selected Novell Open Enterprise Server as the operating system for its new consolidated infrastructure. SSAT users now have shared document spaces on the central servers, helping them to find and share important information more rapidly.

The proposed solution from Novell was the winner in terms of price, flexibility and keeping our options open for the future – plus Novell had excellent references in other government agencies,” said Greig Morris, Information Technology Business Manager, Social Security Appeals Tribunal. “Novell Consulting provided on-site and remote support and training, helping the implementation to run very smoothly.”

SSAT also implemented Novell ZENworks Desktop Management, using the software to build a standard operating system image for deployment across its new desktops. In addition to rolling out patches and updates automatically across all PCs, SSAT IT staff can now install and upgrade software remotely, and can set and enforce desktop policies for all users.

The IT team can also remotely troubleshoot issues, logging in to any desktop on the network to apply fixes. Desktop support was previously outsourced to a third-party helpdesk service; with Novell ZENworks, SSAT was able to bring the service back in-house, reducing operational expenditure and improving service levels.

Our internal staff are naturally better positioned to prioritise support requests and take the appropriate decisions in a timely manner,” said Morris. “Novell ZENworks gives us the tools to support users effectively and with very little effort – ideal for an organisation like ours with a limited number of IT staff.”

Despite bringing the helpdesk back in-house, SSAT has not needed to increase the size of its IT team, and remote control through Novell ZENworks has nearly eliminated the need for IT staff to travel to other offices. Calls to the helpdesk have fallen significantly, thanks in part to the ability to lock users down to a standard operating system image and standard software.

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