Allied Mills

Company: NCDAllied MillsCustomer: Allied MillsSubmitted by: Berkeley PRBritain’s premier flour miller, Allied Mills, have invested £200,000 in NCD thin client hardware and software in a move to cut IT support costs and achieve year 2000 compliance. NCD thin clients were selected to replace a 450 user PC-based legacy system, thereby providing centralised system control and also reducing laptop usage by 50%.As a result of an in depth pilot installation project-managed by NCD Diamond Partner Basilica, employees situated at 14 different remote sites were transferred from a Novell-based non year 2000 compliant environment to a (Year 2000 compliant ) Microsoft Windows Terminal Server-based platform running on NCD ThinSTAR 300 thin clients.

A fundamental benefit of thin client technology is that all information and data access is managed by a central server and not held on individuals’ PCs and can be distributed simultaneously to many users. This means that Allied Mills can now roll out applications in hours instead of weeks. It does not require a support person to visit the user in question as all problems can be corrected remotely. The central control and administration has therefore allowed the company to reduce their support burden by 30%.Allied Mills have also been able to give users remote access so they can work from home.

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Each home user requires a ThinSTAR 300 thin client device and a modem, which gives them access to the corporate system reducing the need for mobile PC computers. Over 50% of mobile computers were withdrawn, which generated further cost savings. Feedback from the user base has also been positive, and there has been improved productivity in the workplace.The IT support burden being carried by Allied Mills had risen to unacceptable levels. Given that every user across 11 sites had entirely separate configurations, IT staff at Allied Mills were spending significant amounts of their time in a reactive support role.The Allied Mills IT department has now completed the migration of all 450 users.

A small group consisting of two trainers, two technicians and one person as back-up support, migrated the users at a speedy average rate of five per day three days per week.”The cost of purchasing a thin client in comparison with a PC is almost identical. The savings are to be made in the reduction of ongoing support costs, ie the total cost of ownership, once the system gets going. You buy the machines from NCD and with their help, deployment is quick and easy,” confirmed Jan Swanwick, group IT manager at Allied Mills.”None of our 450 users can hurt the system.

As a result, the reduction in IT support costs has been phenomenal. We now have no need for hardware support and for the few reactive support tasks that remain, we are now able to perform them remotely rather then having to visit each site in person. Anyone can work from any machine and people can log onto the system from home. People can now focus on getting on with their jobs,” he continued.Nick Gorringe, research and development manager at reseller Basilica said of the installation, “This was a clear case of using thin client technology to enhance the business and reduce ownership costs rather than implementing a bigger fatter faster version of what was already in place.

A true business solution.”