Novell Inc. this week at Brainshare in Salt Lake City introduced a new bundled Zenworks suite that provides a unified view for managing thin, fat and Web clients.
The new Zenworks Synergy combines Zenworks for Desktops 3.2, Zenworks OnDemand Services and Novell Portal Services 1.5 under a common user interface and backend schema, allowing administrators to manage fat, thin and Web clients using one tool and without requiring the user to know which client-type theyre using, according to Brad Anderson, Zenworks business unit manager in Provo, Utah.
"Today my default working environment is a laptop behind a firewall with a fat connection to the Internet. At home I have a slow dialup for the laptop, so I have to adjust the way I work. But thats the wrong model. The user should be able to point the browser in one place, where the back end identifies the situation and delivers to the end user the most efficient way to do work," Anderson said.
Zenworks Synergy begins to deliver on that vision with the single, unified view for end users. It also provides intelligent fail-over, so that if a user clicks on and application and it fails, Zenworks can shuffle the user to a different application without the user knowing whats happening on the network.
That initial release of Zenworks Synergy is due May 1. It is priced at $159 per user. Enhancements due later this year will add the ability to dynamically identify the workers environment and deliver service to the user in the most efficient manner based on the users location and the device they are using.
Novell is also due to begin beta testing a new release of Zenworks for Desktops in the next few weeks that will eliminate the requirement for a NetWare client.
Novell also at Brainshare announced a new combined software and services offering that incorporates the MetaStorm Inc. eWork business process management platform, Novells eDirectory and Novell professional services for automating repeatable processes in government agencies.
The new Novell Business Process Management Solution for Government is aimed at state and local governments. It can integrate information from existing systems into the automation, helping to improve the responsiveness of government organizations to their constituents.
The solution relies heavily of Novells eDirectory, which is already in use in a lot of state and local government agencies, as well as Groupwise. "We estimate that 90 to 95 percent of state governments use eDirectory, while 80 percent of local governments have it," said Paul Turner, director of product management for collaborative services at Novell in Provo.
The solution allows the public to access a form on city Web sites to complete a citizen request. For example, if the citizen wanted to request that potholes be filled, they can go to a site, fill out a form and submit it, or they can call in and a city worker with access to the system could fill out the form. It is then automatically routed to the right person who schedules road repairs.
That person can electronically see which road repair crews are available in that area. They do the work, submit electronically that it is completed, and an email goes back to the citizen who reported it. The citizen can also check the status of the work on the web as long as they have a tracking number, described Turner.
The solution includes Metastorms eWork, 10 different templates, and Novell customization services for the templates. Its available now, and its cost depends on the size of the government organization. A small installation starts at $100,000.