Neil DonaldIT OfficerPort of Leith, Edinburghhttp://www.polha.co.uk/
Port of Leith Housing Association (POLHA) was founded in 1975 to redevelop older tenement properties in Leith. For over 30 years, the Association has been at the heart of the redevelopment of Leith, with a vision to make the area a desirable, affordable and inclusive place to live in. The Association's main thrust of activity includes new house building, community regeneration and promoting pride in Leith. The Association presently employs over 60 office based staff. POLHA's network is maintained by IT Officer Neil Donald and comprises 60 PCs and 6 Servers on a Wide Area Network.
POLHA has over 60 users in a predominantly Windows environment. Authentication is Microsoft Active Directory and Internet access is via a 4Mb Leased Line
The Association's existing solution only offered rudimentary monitoring and enforcement capabilities and so Internet access policies were chiefly based on trust. Neil was asked to implement a robust policy enforcement tool to prevent abuse of POLHA's Internet connection and report on suspected misuse.
Guardian was an attractive option for Neil, since he had used commercial Smoothwall products in a previous role and had confidence that they could deliver. Upon comparison with competitor offerings, including Websense, as well as some 'cloud based' services such as MessageLabs, Guardian proved to be the most flexible, cost effective and easy to use solution. Neil described the installation process as extremely straightforward and was particularly pleased with Guardian's seamless integration with their existing network infrastructure and the cost-saving advantages of a software-based appliance.
Since installation, Neil says ongoing maintenance has been a breeze (thanks to Guardian's automatic update system) and better reporting has delivered the detailed level of visibility POLHA needed over their employees' Internet use.
Guardian has given management the assurance that the corporate resources are being used appropriately. Our internet policy does allow limited personal use during non-work time, and the reporting system clearly indicates which category of site staff are browsing at what time of the working day.
Single sign-on support for Active Directory was an important feature, meaning staff didn't need to remember another password to browse the Internet
As Guardian can be installed on generic hardware and POLHA has inhouse IT support, we were able to keep costs down by reusing an existing rack server rather than purchasing a more costly hardware appliance.
Smoothwall is one of the few companies I deal with which has a pro-active approach to customer management. Every couple of months I get a phone call from the account manager to let me know about product developments and check that we're not having any problems. It's nice to know they value and care about all their customers - whatever their size
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