South African Department of Home Affairs Taps Novell for Worldwide Collaboration on Linux

South African Department of Home Affairs Taps Novell for Worldwide Collaboration on Linux

3 April 2006

Novell and the South African Department of Home Affairs have announced the launch of a global project to deploy the Novell® GroupWise® collaboration solution running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server at each of the department’s 635 foreign missions, border posts, and local offices. The project represents one of the biggest Linux-based solutions in the South African national government. As a result, South Africa's Home Affairs Department gains a reliable, secure collaboration platform that leverages the low cost and flexibility of open source.

"We need follow-the-sun technology, since wherever the sun goes, a Home Affairs official wakes up with the intent of rendering a service" said Kgabo Hlahla, Deputy Director General of Information Systems at the Department of Home Affairs. "Our officials need access to information and communications capabilities at their fingertips. Since we are also dealing with confidential and private information, security is a key priority."

The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for a range of services for South African citizens, including identity and travel documents, marriage, adoption, and more, and it also handes immigration services for travelers to the country. The Novell-based collaboration project is the second phase of an initiative to modernise and connect the Department's worldwide branch infrastructure. The rollout will comprise 435 local branch offices, 60 border posts and 120 foreign missions. It will connect 7,500 employees to e-mail and collaboration services this year, expanding to roughly 11,000 employees next year through the Department’s capacity building initiatives. Management and auditing of the worldwide system will be centralized to lower costs and strengthen security.

The Department plans to use two local partners, NetCB and Shimo IT, for the domestic deployment of the system and will handle ongoing support and administration through its own internal IT resources. It will tap into Novell’s worldwide skills ecosystem for global rollout of the solution. Driven to GroupWise by its strong feature set and security, the Department saw deployment on Linux* as an important step in introducing open source into its environment.

"While GroupWise was the main draw, Linux and open source are massive priorities for us," Hlahla added. "Although the South African government’s open source strategy has been approved at a high-level, some departments have been slow to adopt Linux and open source. We feel that Linux adoption by the Department of Home Affairs can be a meaningful proof point of the value of Linux for other departments."

"Novell's best-of-breed technologies, global presence, strong partner relationships, and award- winning technical support are helping South Africa make the move to Linux," says Stafford Masie, country manager of Novell South Africa. "By leveraging SUSE Linux Enterprise for a reliable, low cost platform and deploying Novell GroupWise as a secure, world-class collaboration solution, the Department of Home Affairs gains the best possible result – a state of the art open source operating system plus powerful collaboration infrastructure that is easily installed and managed for a global deployment."

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers Software for the Open Enterprise™. With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world, Novell helps customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at

Novell, GroupWise and SUSE are registered trademarks and Software for the Open Enterprise is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. * Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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