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Pat Romanski

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Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) announced that Ministerio de Vivienda, Peru's Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation, has implemented Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the operating platform for its new open source communications solution, Zimbra Collaboration Suite.

“We needed a quick-to-deploy and easy-to-manage solution. We assessed several proposals from various vendors, among them, SUSE Linux and Microsoft Windows-based solutions, but we chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Zimbra Collaboration Suite and Alfresco, for the solutions' cost savings, simplified administration, reliability and quick implementation," said Jaime Honores Coronado, managing director of the General Department of Statistics and Information Systems, Ministerio de Vivienda.

The Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation's goal is to promote and improve the development of housing, water and sanitation services throughout Peru by facilitating access to adequate housing and basic services, facilitating the management, growth, preservation, maintenance and protection of population centers.

The Ministry's aging and limited e-mail communications platform was based on SUSE Enterprise Linux with Postfix and Horde for Web customers. Users also relied on different versions of Microsoft Outlook to check their email, resulting in challenges due to the platform age and configuration. The platform also caused the need to add an exclusive server allocated to this service. The Ministry’s main problem consisted of the lack of scalability and security, and limited flexibility in management and constrained the user interface.

The Ministry made the decision to evaluate solutions to replace its expensive proprietary software for a Web-based e-mail solution with integrated email, calendar and messaging. The Ministry worked with the IT consulting firm Software Libre Andino, a Red Hat and Zimbra partner in Peru, for the evaluation process of replacing its outdated systems. During the evaluation, the Ministry weighed Microsoft Exchange against Zimbra Collaboration Suite, and determined that Zimbra would account for an estimated 30 percent savings compared with Microsoft Outlook.

The Ministry selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Zimbra Collaboration Suite and began the migration of each account, installation, configuration, start-up and technical and end-user training to the new open source platform.

With Zimbra Collaboration Suite, Red Hat Enterprise Linux serves as the primary development and deployment platform for the open source email platform. Zimbra Collaboration Suite integrates email, contacts, shared calendar, voice over IP (VoIP) and online document authoring into a single application with a rich browser-based interface. It is also compatible with all standard email clients and integrates easily with third-party applications.

Although the Ministry's technical staff had minimal experience with a Web-based e-mail technology, Red Hat Consulting experts facilitated a faster implementation and provided the technical staff with the knowledge and tools to effectively manage the new platform.

"The high level of know-how and expertise of Red Hat’s consultants, coupled with Red Hat’s local presence, were decisive in making the decision to secure consulting rather than performing these tasks internally. Red Hat, through partner Software Libre Andino, contributed to service deployment, technical and end-user training and the migration of old e-mail accounts, allowing our team to quickly become experts," said Coronado.

The Zimbra Collaboration Suite e-mail platform based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux immediately improved the productivity and coordination of the Ministry’s employees by enhancing collaboration and sharing of work agendas.

“We have achieved a larger physical distribution of our users who are now capable of accessing their e-mail accounts wherever they are. Our investment project coordinators can perform Web queries of their local e-mail, manage their work agendas and refer to the document management system, all in one single platform," said Coronado.

"The Zimbra and Red Hat solution provides a cost-effective platform that allows for greater efficiency and a unified email and collaboration platform," said Coronado. "And we also benefited from significant cost savings with Red Hat Enterprise Linux."

To read the full case study, visit www.customers.redhat.com.

For more information about Red Hat, visit www.press.redhat.com. For more news, more often, visit www.press.redhat.com.

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