Thin client wins estate agent deal

Your Move, the Norwich Union-backed estate agency network, has significantly increased its use of Internet technologies following...

Your Move, the Norwich Union-backed estate agency network, has significantly increased its use of Internet technologies following the successful implementation of a thin client-based infrastructure across its 340 branches.

The move marks the increasing acceptance of thin client systems, which allow information to be stored on central servers and distributed from a single point. UK companies are increasingly looking for alternatives to expensive desktop-based systems.

Your Move, previously known as General Accident Property Services, claims it is now the only estate agent to offer nationwide coverage giving online customers similar system capabilities to those its staff and customers can access at the branch.

Registered users can make an offer for a property and then monitor the progress of their sale or purchase, including the status of mortgage offers, searches, valuations, and exchange of contracts, via the Web.

Simon Hill, business solutions manager at Your Move, said the thin client system, which has 1,500 users, is key to the online offering, both internally and externally.

"Having details that are bang up to date and consistent across the network is key," he said. "Getting the same standard of information across all outlets used to be difficult, while, externally, more than 50% of our customers use the Web as their first point of call."

Your Move chose the thin client system from Progress Software after a number of trials of traditional client-server technology proved too expensive. "Pilots of client-server technology were not economical because wide area networks do not scale well enough when the amount of data increases," Hill said.

"We also tried replication but we found that this was far too complex."

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