Queensland Health has revealed it will bring the first of at least 50,000 users onto an Exchange 2007 email system early next year.
The state department plans to phase out its existing Novell GroupWise email system as part of a staged transition to Exchange.
The project, known internally as GroupWise to Outlook (g2o), was driven by the state's long-running whole-of-government identity, directory and email services (IDES) program.
IDES was born in October 2006 and aims to secure employee access to Queensland Government data and applications. It initially targeted only those Queensland Government agencies that already use Microsoft Exchange.
However, it has long been hoped that agencies using non-Microsoft email systems would eventually come onto the IDES platform.
Queensland Health's g2o project should see between 50,000 and 70,000 GroupWise users brought over to a Microsoft Exchange platform.
"Preliminary planning is under way for an initial, limited rollout of Exchange early next year," Queensland Health chief information officer Ray Brown told iTnews.
"Next year's limited rollout will be used to help resolve any such transitional technical issues.
"A firm timetable for the introduction of Exchange throughout the rest of the organisation will be developed based on an evaluation of the initial limited rollout."
The g2o project is not just a straight email platform swap. It also encompasses the rollout of Microsoft's Office Communication Server for unified communications and Symantec's document archival system, Enterprise Vault.
In addition, the project included the rollout of McAfee anti-virus software, which Brown said had been completed earlier this year.
The agency has been using Quest software as part of the email account migration process.