Palm Beach County Turns to Novell to Secure and Manage its Network

Palm Beach County, one of the five largest counties in the U.S., has tapped Novell for identity and desktop management across its network, leading to significantly reduced IT administration costs and improved security. Challenged with lowering costs while maximizing the value from its existing mixed network, Palm Beach County needed a comprehensive, cross-platform solution to manage its distributed IT environment. Novell's identity management solution is helping the county improve security, while providing significant cost savings at the same time. Novell has also helped the county streamline desktop management, including patching, reducing IT travel time by 75 percent and helpdesk administration time by 90 percent.

"We have a heterogeneous environment and that isn’t going to change," said Robert Shafron, senior IS manager of Strategy, Planning and Architecture for Palm Beach County. "It was critical for us to find an identity and desktop management solution that works across multiple platforms. Novell's solution delivered."

With 10,000 employees in 150 locations serving 1.2 million citizens, Palm Beach County faces the constant challenge of a growing demand for citizen services, an always tight budget environment, and the need to leverage its existing technology investments. With a dispersed IT staff and no unified strategy for managing users, the county needed a comprehensive solution to integrate user identity information across multiple agencies, locations and platforms. In addition, managing workstations across a dispersed organization kept the IT staff constantly on the road. The county needed to improve the security of its systems with regular patches and updates, yet reduce costs by centralizing the process. The county also aimed to standardize desktops and laptops to reduce helpdesk calls.

After evaluating alternatives, Palm Beach County selected Novell(R) Identity Manager and Novell eDirectory(TM) as the core of its identity management solution and Novell ZENworks(R) Desktop Management. The county uses Novell eDirectory as its central repository for employee identities across multiple platforms, including Microsoft Windows*, NetWare(R), UNIX* and Linux*. Novell Identity Manager automatically synchronizes user identity information across multiple systems, improving security and giving the IT staff the ability to provision access rights for new users in minutes. The Secure Identity Management project enabled Palm Beach County to standardize on stronger password policies for more than 40 directories and applications used by 38 supported agencies. Novell ZENworks allows the county to centrally manage and quickly distribute applications and patches to desktops across its Microsoft Windows, NetWare and Linux environments. The IT staff has also created standard desktop images for different user groups allowing them to troubleshoot issues remotely in minutes, almost eliminating helpdesk calls.

"The great results Palm Beach County has seen with Novell solutions for identity and resource management highlight how organizations can do more with less, extracting additional value from the systems they already have by automating their management and using technology to improve business processes," said Troy Richardson, president, Novell Americas. "By freeing IT staff from mundane administrative tasks, Palm Beach County can focus on strategic IT initiatives to improve service delivery for its citizens, driving more value for every tax dollar."

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