London council works on desktop update

Case study: Multi-million pound network development as well...

Case study: Multi-million pound network development as well...

Waltham Forest Borough Council in London is working through a major IT refresh programme, rolling out Novell's eDirectory and Groupwise 6.5 across its desktops and upgrading its network infrastructure.

The council is refreshing 1,400 desktops as part of the project, David Wilde, head of ICT and e-government at the council told

He said: "Once I took up the role here I had to develop an IT strategy and we looked at the idea of consolidating around a single infrastructure. We were about three-quarters Novell and the expertise was there."

And compared to Microsoft's enterprise licence, Novell's licence gave better value, he said. "The added bit of flavour was [Novell's] stated intention to move onto open source which is quite helpful," he added.

While its existing network provides links of 100Mbps down to ISDN for some sites, a multi-million pound deal with BT will deliver the council a managed service giving it links of 1Gbps between four nodes, and 100Mbps to 10Mbps elsewhere.

Wilde said: "For us that's a massive improvement. We are also rolling out a single desktop managed service and two datacentres for mutual back-up."

And the BT service is marginally less costly than the old network while providing much greater capacity, he said.

The network will allow the council to test services such as secure instant messaging, which will allow call centre workers to check the status of a query in real-time, while the caller is still on the line.