Ericom Helps Woodgate Fulfil Customer Commitment with Linux Solution
Customers

PowerTerm® WebConnect on Linux Helps Woodgate Fulfil Customer Commitment and Improves IT Flexibility and Investment Return

Industry

   Logistics

Customer

   Woodgate Fulfilment Ltd.

Host Connectivity Solution

        PowerTerm® WebConnect

Host Server

        SCO OpenServer

The Challenge

        Woodgate Fulfilment required a host access solution for their Windows® and Linux platforms, which would drive a better return on their IT investments.

The Solution

        PowerTerm WebConnect, Ericom's multi-platform based thin client solution, enabled Woodgate to connect multiple desktops to critical business applications hosted on their main host servers.


Benefits

  • PowerTerm WebConnect's ability to run across multiple platforms and offer platform independence helped Woodgate reduce IT costs and improve productivity.
  • Single server installation and straightforward configuration means quick and efficient deployment.
  • Centralised management facility provides total control over access to Woodgate's SCO servers so each desktop can be tightly managed and controlled.
  • Future-proofs IT investment against long-term decisions regarding operating systems.
  • PowerTerm WebConnect provides users with a simple connection process via a web browser.

Woodgate Fulfilment is one of the United Kingdom's leading fulfilment houses providing part-work services, direct mail, database management and mail order catalogue services to clients, often within tight deadlines and to precise requirements. Its business success is built on efficiency, both externally, in terms of fulfilling client orders to provide an unequalled service in the delivery of goods, and internally, through internal process efficiency to complete the loop from client to customer.

Woodgate Fulfilment is an organisation whose success relies on providing unequalled service to their clients at all times, simply because their clients' success depends on their products being delivered ‘hassle free', allowing them to build stronger customer relationships. The need to link the company's systems to ensure the efficient and effective processing and delivery of goods wherever their destination and whatever the type of product, is paramount.

As Systems Administrator for Woodgate Fulfilment, James Dalziel is responsible for specifying the IT system requirements of the company, which has a combined staff base of 160 across two sites at Westfield and Rye, East Sussex. James is also responsible for subsequent implementation and overseeing of IT systems on a daily basis. Woodgate's IT systems consist of an in-house solution using SCO FoxBASE+ on OpenServer, desktop devices and a number of additional servers for specific functions.

Linking to Linux

Woodgate Fulfilment was facing a very familiar challenge; steadily rising licensing costs and general inflexibility of their existing Microsoft based solution was preventing Woodgate from driving a better return on its IT investments. This led James to move to an open source solution based on SuSE Linux for the company's workstations, which although successful, brought with it some SCO OpenServer connection issues. A solution was needed to address these connection issues. After investigating a number of alternatives, James turned to Ericom Software, who proposed their multi-platform based thin client solution: PowerTerm WebConnect.

Leading Edge

"Thanks to Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect, the connection issues were resolved quickly and efficiently", explains James. A particular advantage over competitive products is PowerTerm's ability to run without any hindrance, across multiple platforms, giving platform independence. For Woodgate Fulfilment, this means that one solution can satisfy all their needs for both Windows and Linux platforms, providing for maximum flexibility and efficiency. Woodgate is able to connect multiple desktops to their main host servers where the applications central to their business, are hosted. "It also means", added James, "that we now have ultimate flexibility in which desktop system we deploy to which user, while helping to future-proof our investment against any longer term decisions regarding operating systems".

Because of PowerTerm WebConnect's unique feature of ‘straight out of the box' support for Linux servers, no additional server software was required. "By having the main server running on Linux we have dramatically reduced the implementation costs as no additional hardware was required," explained James.

Another key feature of the PowerTerm WebConnect solution on Linux is its centralised management facility, allowing Woodgate to gain total control over the access to their SCO servers. Access rights, configuration and connection options on each desktop can be tightly managed and controlled. This means that certain users working remotely can be forced into using a secure connection.

PowerTerm WebConnect is a secure, browser-based solution, offering web based host connectivity with both ‘fat' (ActiveX) and ‘thin' (JAVA) client configurations. PowerTerm WebConnect has been designed from the outset to address the requirements of both public and private organisations: Improved security supporting encryption, authentication and full usage audit trails, centralised management to reduce the burden of IT management and support, cross-platform compatibility protecting a company's investment and providing options in terms of operating systems and increased flexibility by providing the widest choice of host access and multiple options of connecting.

Furthermore, PowerTerm WebConnect facilitates improved employee performance and productivity, assisting in the overall return on investment for the organisation. PowerTerm WebConnect can be implemented from a single server simplifying the configuration and deployment phases, which enhances security and usability, or if required multiple servers providing 24x7 access.

"As a company, we have been really pleased that the implementation of PowerTerm WebConnect took so little time. We encountered no compatibility issues whatsoever with any of our existing systems — every aspect of the installation was very straight forward," said James Dalziel.

With PowerTerm WebConnect, the process of connecting a user to the host platform is simple. At first a user profile is set up on the PowerTerm WebConnect server, access permissions are set and any special requirements such as secure connections are then enabled, allowing the user to connect through their browser to any host to which they have been granted access rights.

Benefiting Business

To date, Woodgate Fulfilment has rolled out phase one of PowerTerm WebConnect across its company workstations, with plans to extend this further in additional phases. "Woodgate is growing and expanding all the time," explains James. "As this happens the demand for host access increases accordingly".

Woodgate recognised early on that they needed to increase their flexibility, but without giving up trying to standardise as much of their infrastructure as possible. "We realise that this increases productivity and reduces downtime and administration costs. Our intention is for PowerTerm WebConnect to be rolled out onto any new workstations", said James.






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