Show Time collaborates with IM

Show Group, a travel and freight logistics company for the entertainment, film and sports industries, has upgraded its collaboration platform across a heterogeneous server environment becoming one of the first companies in Australia to beta test directory integrated instant messaging.

Nick Duddy, Show Group's IS manager, said the upgrade to Novell GroupWise 6.5 was easy.

"We have eight offices plus a number of other sites connected by Telstra Frame Relay," Duddy said. "All the sites run NetWare eDirectory 5 and have a separate domain and post office. The process involves installing the program on CD, telling it which post office you want upgraded, and waiting for the files to be copied."

Show Group's collaboration infrastructure consists of 11 servers, four of which are running NetWare 6.0, two are running NetWare 5.1 and the remainder run version 5.0. GroupWise 6.5 is now standard across all platforms.

"The real driver for upgrading to version 6.5 of GroupWise is it's there," Duddy said. "There are no business drivers from version 6.0. The two items that are new - personalised subjects and categories - help users organise themselves. I'm very happy about this."

However, Duddy recommends upgrading to at least version 6.0 as version 5.0 is not supported.

"Generally, we upgraded because we were entitled to; it has useful features and requires near-zero effort," he said. "A lot of the client features are easy to use and have a number of subtle enhancements, which make it easy for the user. The WebAccess component in particular now has the ability to configure proxy access - which saves the IT department from those 'I forgot to configure proxy before going on leave' calls."

Duddy said the scalability of GroupWise is good and the licensing is acceptable.

"We have 110 users and the scalability is good," Duddy said. "The licensing is not restrictive in terms of domains and servers."

The company claims to be one of the first in Australia to have implemented the recently released instant messaging component to GroupWise which integrates with the rest of the suite.

"IM was to be the big coup in 6.5," Duddy said. "The IM component seamlessly integrates with the directory and mail system, uses SIP, and is private and secure. This is doing for instant messaging what Notes and Exchange did for e-mail."

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