Creating new ways of working

In order to achieve a faster, more reliable IT infrastructure, Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) has begun a large-scale migration and transition project to create a centralised single operating system. As a result the council will benefit from faster recovery, application compatibility and a simplified infrastructure that is significantly easier to maintain and manage. Predictions show the project will significantly reduce IT support and administration costs over the next four years.

Why this came about
Lincolnshire County Council operated a mixed Operating System environment of Novell Netware and Microsoft. Generally Novell Netware was used for ‘File and Print’ and ‘e-mail’ services and Microsoft used for application and web delivery. The mixed environment policy was formulated some 12 years ago and there were drawbacks to operating a mixed environment.  
Socitm was commissioned to manage a review of LCC’s operating system strategy and to evaluate options available. The review concluded that the council should migrate to a single server operating system and e-mail solution based on Microsoft because the platform is familiar, robust, easy to use, providing innovative print and file services, and supporting an outstanding choice of applications and hardware devices. The most important benefits are listed below:

  • Microsoft provides improved functionality and less integration problems.
  • There is a greater supply of support skills for Microsoft. Novell Netware skills are diminishing, this could mean increased support costs in the long term. 
  • Microsoft is an industry leader and this will ensure continuing innovation and development.
  • Microsoft provides support for the largest range of applications and solutions available. 
  • Novell is more expensive for LCC to maintain due to use of varied and non-integrated management tools.
  • Staying with Novell may be a risk to business continuity when technical support becomes less readily available. 

The project is part of the council’s ACORN programme (Actively Creating Opportunities for Remote and New Ways of Working) which has two other key projects: replacement of the Wide Area Network and expansion of Thin Client usage.

Why Fordway?
LCC chose ICT integrator Fordway, who won the business through EU Journal tender because of its extensive experience in the sector.
Fordway put forward an innovative solution offering the best value to LCC, making use of newer technologies e.g. network attached servers and virtualisation. They have a successful track record of delivering similar solutions within both public and private sectors.
Fordway was contracted to deliver a large scale migration and transition project to (including moving 5,000 users from Novell Groupwise to MS Windows Exchange) create a centralised single operating system, providing application compatibility and a simplified infrastructure that is significantly easier to maintain and manage.
During the project the council built a very close working relationship with key members of the Fordway team and they have been as committed to ensuring project success as the council has.

Please register to comment on this article