AHL outs Exchange for Lotus

Microsoft's Exchange collaboration platform will no longer be used by Amalgamated Holdings (AHL), as the diversified Australian company has started standardising its operations on IBM's rival software Lotus Notes. AHL is in the entertainment, hospitality, tourism and leisure industries through assets such as Greater Union cinemas, film processing firm Atlab, hotel chain Rydges and Sydney's State Theatre.

Microsoft's Exchange collaboration platform will no longer be used by Amalgamated Holdings (AHL), as the diversified Australian company has started standardising its operations on IBM's rival software Lotus Notes.

AHL is in the entertainment, hospitality, tourism and leisure industries through assets such as Greater Union cinemas, film processing firm Atlab, hotel chain Rydges and Sydney's State Theatre.

The Notes consolidation work is part of a larger technology refresh project being carried out by local systems integrator IMC Communications, who will do work in over 100 of AHL's sites nationwide.

"Half the business ran Notes already -- the Rydges Hotels ran Notes, and the other half of the business ran Exchange. They've decided to bring it all into a Notes environment," IMC sales director Matt Dixon told ZDNet Australia via telephone last week.

"They've got corporate-wide business applications that run on Notes as well, so it sort of made sense to bring the mail across from Exchange to have everything run on the same platform."

AHL is also in the process of migrating around 1500 PCs from the unsupported Windows NT platform to the latest versions of Microsoft's XP operating system and Office XP software suite, with its servers moving to Windows Server 2003 R2.

The new server and desktop standard operating environments will be centrally managed using software by Altiris, with Microsoft's Active Directory software also playing a key role in setting group policies and managing software and hardware inventories.

IMC expects the technology refresh project to be complete within the next 12 months. The integrator has had a prior relationship with AHL going back over the last decade, although AHL went out to competitive tender for the technology refresh project.

A spokesperson for AHL had not commented on the project by the time of publication.