Czech Post prešla na SUSE LINUX

Czech Post prešla na SUSE LINUX

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Czech Post relies on APOST, a customized system used by 20,000 employees for all postal operations. APOST had been running on a range of operating systems including DOS and Microsoft Windows NT, but reached a point where running in a proprietary environment was proving too costly. With a disparate environment across 3,400 locations, Czech Post was experiencing increased administration costs, as well as downtime and security issues.

The company set out to find a new operating system to support its APOST system that would reduce administration costs across offices, while providing greater uptime and security.

Czech Post considered upgrading its existing hardware, but that would have required significant updates to its APOST software and increased training costs. As a foundation for a new and centralized system, Czech Post selected SUSE LINUX technology.

"When we began evaluating software several years ago, Linux was considered an environment for the enthusiasts," said Josef Svoboda, Project Manager for APOST at Czech Post. "Our people trusted Linux and the decision really paid off. SUSE LINUX attracted our attention and won our admiration because it is not only reliable, but also offers great customization capabilities so we can tailor it to our business."

The logistics costs of sending qualified people to 3,400 locations to install new hardware would have cost more than the new hardware and software combined. Instead, the company installed SUSE LINUX on its existing Intel-based machines, for a dramatic hardware, administrative and travel cost savings.

With the systems management capabilities in SUSE LINUX, there was no need to send qualified IT personnel to each site. An employee at each site plugs in the new system, and the IT staff can manage it from a central location.

In just 10 months, Czech Post installed the new SUSE LINUX-based APOST system on 4,000 servers at 3,400 post offices across the country, as well as at 12,000 client terminals used by 20,000 employees. The company now has a centralized infrastructure with support for remote monitoring that will significantly reduce administration costs.

Because APOST is the mission-critical application for Czech Post, it was imperative that the company make the transition to SUSE LINUX without any disruption to its business. Novell consultants helped Czech Post implement and roll out the new APOST system with zero downtime.

"We have enjoyed working with highly qualified Novell consultants," said Svoboda. "We never heard Novell consultants say that anything was impossible or could not be done. Their approach was inspiring and we highly regard our cooperation with them."

The transition was seamless for users who now have the same user interface as before and therefore required no additional training. The APOST system performs much faster now and with nearly 100 percent uptime so employees can better serve postal customers.

The IT staff now benefits from a consolidated Linux skill set, which simplifies ongoing maintenance. Czech Post is no longer tied to a single vendor and the IT staff enjoys greater flexibility to customize its environment using an open source platform.

SUSE LINUX provides scalability for Czech Post as it continues its role as a key participant in the Czech information society. Czech Post plans to extend eGovernment functionality to more offices, giving citizens a broader variety of services and eliminating the need to go to specialized government agencies.

With SUSE LINUX, Czech Post centralized the administration of one of the most geographically extensive systems in the Czech Republic. The new system strengthens the security of the company’s APOST system, while providing faster performance and nearly 100 percent uptime.

Without the need to upgrade hardware in 3,400 locations, the company dramatically reduced its anticipated hardware and travel costs. Centralized management with SUSE LINUX has also helped reduce escalating administration costs.

"Having to upgrade hardware would have cost Czech Post far more than they could have afforded," said Ales Kucera, Novell country manager for the Czech Republic. "SUSE LINUX has allowed the company to move forward cost-effectively and without disruption."


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