Australian State Agency Switches to Suns StarOffice

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-08-18 Print this article Print

In another blow to Microsoft, a government agency in New South Wales, Australia, signs a deal with Sun to migrate 1,500 users to the company's StarOffice productivity suite and Messaging products.

Sun Microsystems on Wednesday announced another customer win away from Microsoft. This time, the state government of New South Wales, in Australia, will migrate 1,500 of its users in the Roads and Traffic Authority from Microsoft Outlook to Suns StarOffice productivity suite and Messaging products. The move, which aims to increase security and reduce escalating software and maintenance costs, is expected to result in projected annual cost savings of 20 percent, or $1.5 million ($2 million AUS) a year. Under the deal, Sun Microsystems Inc. will supply the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) with a new desktop solution based on the Sun Infrastructure Solution for Enterprise Messaging Consolidation and StarOffice Productivity Suite, which provides e-mail messaging, calendaring and task management, real-time collaboration and office productivity.
On the hardware side, the RTA will move to Suns x86 and SPARC server offerings, including the Sun Fire V20z, V440 and V240 servers.
As part of the initial contract, Sun will migrate 1,500 users across 120 offices within the RTAs Registry Environment. The next phases of deployment should connect as many as 3,000 users to the new system. Plans also include leveraging a number of other Sun software products, including the Sun Java System Portal Server, Sun Java System Access Manager, Sun Java System Identity Manager and Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition to support enterprisewide portal, directory and identity-management capabilities. Greg Carvouni, the RTAs chief information officer, said in a statement that he was looking for an open standards-based system for its desktops and back-end infrastructure to cut its escalating software, maintenance and support costs. The deal would reduce RTAs TCO (total cost of operation) by as much as 20 percent, leading to potential savings of as much as $1.5 million a year. "This means well be able to dedicate our time and budget to serving our customers rather than worrying about desktop costs and support issues," he said. Larry Singer, a senior vice president at Sun, said an increasing number of governments were looking for alternatives because they were frustrated with escalating IT costs and the increased proliferation of viruses and worms, which ultimately affected information security and worker productivity. Is the Sun-Microsoft deal showing signs of stress? Click here to read more. This latest customer win away from Microsoft follows a number of others this year. The Allied Irish Bank, one of Irelands largest banking and financial services groups, said in June that it was set to transition its branch-dependent applications and migrate about 7,500 desktop users off Windows and onto the Sun Java Desktop System over the next year or so. Microsoft Corp. has lost other business from European customers recently. Earlier this month, the Norwegian city of Bergen said it plans to move 100 schools and 32,000 users away from its proprietary Unix and Microsoft Windows applications platform to Linux by the end of this year. Next Page: Linux gaining more footholds worldwide.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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