Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries has implemented a portal based on the SAP Netweaver platform to provide pub managers and head office staff with access to corporate IT systems.
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Up to 550 pubs, plus distribution, logistics, human resources and management staff, will be given access to the company's SAP R/3 enterprise resource planning system, e-mail, and file and print services via the portal.
Access to the applications is being provided by an IPSec virtual private network, which is used by pub managers to connect to the portal over a 1mbps DSL link. By the end of January 2006 this link will be upgraded to a Secure Sockets Layer VPN, based on the PortWise Application Access software platform.
Mike McMinn, IT director at Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, said, "We have had an IPSec VPN in place for the past five years that was being used by approximately 150 people to access back-office systems."
IPSec requires the use of client software. McMinn said, "Access was only possible from a specific device and in a specific location. We wanted a system that could handle single sign-on so our pub managers did not have to remember numerous passwords."
The SAP portal uses Windows 2003 and SQL Server 2000 running on a cluster of four-way Hewlett-Packard Xeon servers. This connects to the SAP R/3 system at Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, which is based on Tru64 Unix Alpha servers.