Österreichischer Bundesverlag Univention Corporate Server and Kopano replace MS Exchange and Outlook
The Österreichische Bundesverlag (öbv), based in Vienna, is one of the largest and best-known educational publishers in Austria. 70 employees inside and outside the office are looking for a modern and scalable e-mail and groupware solution.
Until now, the well-aged IT environment of öbv relied on Microsoft Exchange as server and Outlook on the client computers. With about 100 GByte of active mail data in 200 mailboxes and shared calendars, the capacity limit of the previous groupware system was reached – an update was due.
To reduce load on both the servers and the backup software, the employees outsourced some data to Outlook data files (PST archives) – which, however, made it more difficult to administer and back up the user data.
Wanted was a scalable open source e-mail and groupware solution that would not only coordinate electronic mail but also appointments, manage tasks and resources, provide a chat function, video meetings with external partners and a shared file repository. It was important to öbv to position itself independently with its digital systems and not to become dependent on a single provider. A continuation with an up-to-date Microsoft Exchange/Outlook system and Office365 was briefly considered, but the management did not want to settle for a platform without exchangeable components.
The experts from the Austrian Univention partner Siedl Network consulted the publisher, and finally the responsible persons decided in favour of an open source solution: Kopano was to provide the mail and groupware functions (calendar, contacts, tasks, appointments, notes, file sharing and video meetings). Applications for desktop computers and apps for mobile devices guaranteed the greatest possible flexibility.
In the future, Univention Corporate Server with its integrated OpenLDAP directory service was to form the substructure. This would enable user accounts to access other programs and services such as Nextcloud and ONLYOFFICE. Furthermore, thanks to UCS, it would also be possible in the future to register Windows computers in the network easily.
In cooperation with the experts from Siedl Networks, the IT department of the publishing house decided to gently migrate the existing infrastructure. Outlook initially remained the mail client and the administrators focused on the servers. As a preparatory measure, they synchronized the Exchange server data with the Kopano server, which took about 48 hours. This was a solid foundation for the subsequent final migration, as only a differential synchronization of the new data was required, resulting in only two hours downtime.
The Outlook PST data was also imported into the Kopano system. öbv relies on the Kopano Archiver to keep the data volume manageable. The Archiver moves data from the live server to an archive server – to which all users have access as well – once a self-defined period of time has passed. The Kopano Archiver requires fewer resources than the live server, because searching queries only occur once in a while. In addition, this component runs on a slower (cheaper) storage.
The migration of the users to the Kopano DeskApp succeeded smoothly and everyone found their way around well. They already knew e-mails, appointments, contact management and task lists from the old environment. Now there are two additional Kopano features available: WebMeetings (video conferences, also with external participants) and Kopano Files (storage for images, documents, etc.) with the option to send files as attachments or as a link out of Nextcloud.
Taking into account the subscription costs for the OpenSource products and the service contract with Siedl Networks, our TCO calculated over five years is significantly lower than the costs of a current Microsoft system with a similar scope of functions. Also, the new, open system gives us much more choices for each individual component. Goesta Smekal, Head of IT öbv GmbH & Co. KG
The new system is stable and performing. The users are getting used to Kopano very well and the administrators are happy with the Univention Management Console (UMC), which is much easier to use than Windows Active Directory. The possibility of installing additional apps from the Univention App Center opens up new perspectives for the IT managers.
“Our new, open system gives us much more choices for each individual component. Ultimately, that’s what we expect from digitization: the freedom of having a choice.” Goesta Smekal, Head of IT öbv GmbH & Co. KG
Founded in 1772 by Maria Theresa in Vienna, the Österreichische Bundesverlag is today one of the largest and best-known educational publishers in Austria. With its wide range of textbooks for schools as well as digital and printed learning materials, it covers all areas related to teaching and learning. öbv has 70 employees inside and outside the office.
About Siedl Networks GmbH
Since 2002 Siedl Networks is a technology company from Krems an der Donau with 13 employees providing IT services for companies, schools and non-profit organisations throughout Austria. The company specializes in enterprise open source systems, which are not only put into operation, but are also supported and maintained by Siedl Networks.