Monday, 15 September 2008

How many PCs do we have?

Approved 4 new projects at the Programme Board last week - good job we've closed a few recently.

The first caused the most discussion - the setting up of a University wide computer asset register. Now, some of you will say, what you haven't got one? You don't know how many computers you've got across the University and what sort they are? Whereas those of you who work in IT in Universities will know that mostly we have no clue! So, we are going to attempt to find out, and not just find out, but keep up to date with all of our purchases, disposals etc. Hmmm. It will be interesting.

Another project which will have huge University wide implications is the replacement of our current email and calendaring systems with a next generation product - I've mentioned before that the product we're looking at is Zimbra, and our recent proof of concept has not produced any technical reasons why we shouldn't push ahead with investigating rolling this out across the whole University - we may of course decide to target certain groups first, such as students. We can see many benefits to this, including the improvement to the existing web interface for mail, the replacement of Oracle Calendar, integration with MS Outlook, integration with mobile devices and the ability to push out calendaring information in a standard format. However, as Zimbra is owned by Yahoo, a major risk has to be the possible takeover of Yahoo by Microsoft and the consequent discontinuing of the product. We'll have to keep our eyes on this.

1 comment:

Aaron Rosenthal said...

Hi Chris, I noticed that you're evaluating Zimbra for your educational institution. If your university ends up moving to Zimbra, do you plan to build that infrastructure internally or are you interested in outsourcing to a Zimbra hosting provider? I ask because if you're looking for any outside assistance with such a deployment (whether premise based or hosted), then I'd be able to act as a Zimbra resource for your institution, provide whatever information you need to make this decision, while getting Zimbra corporate involved and even other educational open source firms like The Longsight Group.

For what it's worth, Zimbra is amazing. Don't be too worried about the Microsoft/Yahoo issue because as an Open Source project, Zimbra won't die easily. Hope you don't mind me reaching out, I'm just a huge Zimbra fan and anything I can do to help increase its adoption is satisfying enough for me! I can be reached via my URL if you'd like to speak. Cheers!