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Amerada pilot slashes IT deployment costs

The international oil and gas supplier Amerada Hess is piloting a managed virtual private network project that is expected to reduce the cost of deploying IT applications by 40%.

Fifty users in the UK are currently piloting the Aventail managed extranet service that uses encrypted Internet traffic to deliver applications to partners, contractors and employees.

In the past, when Amerada Hess employees needed remote access to their specialist software applications, the company either had to install PCs on remote sites or set up dedicated leased lines between remote users and the Amerada Hess data centre.

Gordon McCaw, project manager at Amerada Hess, told CW360: "The old method proved costly and required a lengthy lead time to install, and our IT department found it difficult to support distant users. This new system won't solve that problem completely, but it does help."

Amerada Hess is involved with the exploration and distribution of natural oil and gas at over a dozen sites across the world. McCaw said that with the new system, the IT department could grant users access to the application suite in less than a day, compared to a wait of up to a month with the old method.

McCaw added: "We were primarily looking for a method of giving access to partners or contractors, but if the pilot is successful we may look at switching some of our other infrastructure onto the Aventail extranet."

The Aventail extranet is the first managed IT service that Amerada Hess has deployed. McCaw believes that the system has so far been a success, with only half a day of planned downtime in its first four months.

If the trials are successful, the system will be rolled out to up to 500 partners and contractors across Europe, Asia and the US.

The deal is a major win for Aventail, which has similar managed extranets with Kodak, Boeing, IBM and Dupont.
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