Dunedin City Council is seeking tenders for supply of Windows 2000 servers as part of an operating system upgrade needed to handle a new $750,000 document management system.
The council presently has a main Novell server and a couple of smaller Novell systems. Linux servers perform data network monitoring, but run no business applications.
IS manager Mike Harte says three or four Compaq servers are being sought, but a decision concerning Windows 2000 or XP software on the desktops -- the council has 500 PCs -- has yet to be made. The council comes under a government Microsoft volume licensing agreement.
The Novell servers would remain, at least for now, carrying out file and print functions. But Harte says the "technology design" of the $100,000 upgrade has not yet been finalised and he could not comment on the longer-term future of Novell at the council. "We haven't made a decision one way or the other."
Linux could come into play in future, though Harte says it is too early to suggest where the council might use open source.
"We certainly won't be rolling out Linux to be the basis of our office automation technology, certainly not in the short term. But we will be assessing it for the mid- to long term," he says. By this he means the next two or three years. "[Linux is] just an operating system. It doesn't give business functionality. I don't choose databases and operating systems on their own sake."
The document management system was supplied by DataWorks of Australia. The DataWorks product, which is also used by North Shore City Council, will work across a number of Dunedin City's business units and integrate with the council's core business systems, GEMS from Geac Enterprise Solutions and the ESI geographical information system products.
At present, DataWorks is being used to capture incoming mail and scan and image back-office files. Eventually, the system will allow the searching of properties or customer databases. Once it has been rolled out across the council's PCs, Dunedin City's 600 staff will cease to create physical files as the council converts to electronic operations.
Harte says he hopes that both the hardware upgrade and the document management project can be completed by year's end.