About Van de Water-Raymond
Based in Quebec, Canada, Van de Water-Raymond provides complete services in sales, market analysis, warehousing and distribution for all divisions of the food industry. As one of the largest independent food brokers in Quebec, Van de Water Raymond Ltd/Ltée is a proud family owned business, established in 1960 and preparing to celebrate 50 years of service, as well as growth and continued success.
Van de Water-Raymond had an aging IT infrastructure, based on SCO UNIX and Microsoft Windows, that was costly and time-consuming to maintain. A disparate IT environment also made it difficult to communicate effectively and to get data from various systems.
The company wanted to modernize its infrastructure to a more flexible environment in order to accommodate changing business requirements. Centralizing its IT environment on an open platform would also make it easier to maintain.
Van de Water-Raymond evaluated a move to Microsoft Windows, but needed a more flexible and open platform that wouldn't require a significant hardware investment. Working with Adaris Technologies, a Novell Gold Partner℠, the company selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Novell Open Workgroup Suite, which includes Novell Open Enterprise Server, Novell ZENworks® Configuration Management, Novell GroupWise®, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and OpenOffice.org Novell Edition for Windows.
"We were confident that the combination of tools in Novell Open Workgroup Suite would make us much more efficient and work well in our mixed environment," said Sophie Raymond, IT Director at Van de Water-Raymond. "The multi-language licensing and support from Novell was also important as we conduct business in both French and English."
The company migrated to Novell Open Enterprise Server running on SUSE Linux Enterprise. Users can now take advantage of Novell iFolder® to keep the files on their laptop and desktop in sync, as well as NetStorage for immediate access to personal and group files from any location. With Novell iPrint, users can select printers from a graphical map and print to any location.
Van de Water-Raymond moved its ERP and accounting application, Open System Accounting System, from SCO UNIX to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and VMware ESX running on HP servers. With a more flexible environment and the ability to easily add new virtual servers, the IT staff can better meet the changing needs of the business.
"We have found Linux to be extremely reliable and stable," said Raymond. "Our environment today does not compare to what we had before—it would be like comparing a bicycle to a Ferrari. Since migrating to Novell Open Workgroup Suite, we have a centralized infrastructure that is so much easier to manage."
Van de Water-Raymond has standardized its desktops with Novell ZENworks Configuration Management. The IT staff can now image new machines in half the time and can remotely deliver new applications to any location. The company has also automated inventory management, replacing its previous time-consuming manual processes.
"Performing an inventory of our hardware and software assets used to be so time-consuming that our desktops just kept getting more out of date," said Raymond. "Novell ZENworks Configuration Management gives us accurate, real-time inventory reports and helps us better manage license compliance."
Van de Water-Raymond migrated its users from a mix of Microsoft Exchange and Outlook to Novell GroupWise running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The company now has a single collaboration platform for email, calendaring and task management. BlackBerry Enterprise Server provides support for its mobile users.
"Since migrating to Novell GroupWise, we have had zero downtime and found it requires significantly less administration than Microsoft Exchange and Outlook," said Raymond. "Our users love it."
"Adaris Technologies has been a great partner and worked hard as this was a huge project," said Raymond. "The Adaris team was extremely professional, efficient and knowledgeable—we could not have accomplished something of this magnitude without them."
By migrating to Novell Open Workgroup Suite, Van de Water-Raymond has consolidated servers by 75 percent and has reduced administration time and costs by 50 percent. The company was able to move to a more stable, open platform, while leveraging its existing hardware.
Novell ZENworks Configuration Management has helped the company reduce IT travel time and costs by 80 percent as the IT staff can now image machines and distribute applications without leaving their desks.
"Without Novell, we would have had to hire more people, spend significantly more money and still would not have the same business flexibility that we get with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server," said Raymond. "With the time we save by using Novell solutions, we can respond better to our users, as well as plan for the future."