Microsoft Exchange’s ability to work smoothly with Microsoft CRM and other Microsoft applications is behind the Ministry of Transport’s decision to move away from Lotus Notes, says Murray Wills, a consultant advising the ministry.
“Exchange and Outlook have a tight integration with CRM version 3, and also with Sharepoint, on which we’ll be basing our intranet,” he says.
The CRM product, in fact, requires Exchange, so it makes sense to adopt it in place of Notes, he says.
“There’s nothing wrong with Notes, and other government agencies have obviously found it a great product. But we have some concern that there are fewer technical resources for it these days; fewer people with the knowledge to support it.”
In its search for document management and records management software, the ministry has an eye to the developing document-management capabilities of Microsoft Office and Sharepoint. These may be sufficient for its needs, says Wills, or a new more specific product may be necessary.
“We’ll be weighing that up over the next six months to a year,” he says.
The ministry’s helpdesk and desktop support services are being provided by Revera, which also hosts some of its applications.
In our story last week, we pointed to two applications suites that still operate separately. One of these, I-lign project management, is actually already run at Revera, on a server operated by I-lign, so bringing it into a more closely integrated set-up is just a matter of moving it from the I-lign server to a ministry server, Wills says.
The future location of the human resources application, being run by Jade, is still undecided. Wills says it may be integrated into the Revera set-up or be left where it is.