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Jewson takes apps support back in-house

Antony Savvas
Builders' merchant Jewson is bringing all its PC applications support in-house after dropping its application service provider.

Jewson is deploying business applications to almost 1,000 users around the UK via a thin client Citrix system implemented by integrator Esteem Systems as part of a £400,000 deal.

Jewson was one of the first UK users to adopt the ASP managed service model back in 2000, when it signed a deal with Futurelink. At the time it said its decision was based on cost and flexibility.

However, Colin Bauckham, IT project manager at Jewson, said the firm faced "continued performance problems and issues with manageability, risk and cost of ownership" with the ASP system.

Bauckham said users were not always able to rely on full functionality with the ASP system, screens often froze, and systems regularly went down.

Jewson will now support users via a Citrix and Windows 2003 server system controlled by its Huddersfield datacentre.

Bauckham said, "The new Citrix infrastructure supported by our own people will give a better user experience with PeopleSoft, SAP, intranet and Microsoft Office applications."

Paul Perry, chairman of Freedom, which acquired Futurelink and the Jewson contract, acknowledged that the firm had experienced technical problems, but said the cause was not clear-cut. "Jewson had multiple layers to its system and its communications network included bandwidth down to as little as 64kbps to some user sites," he said.

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