In a race against time, Allied Carpets has given itself just six weeks in which to replace Novell NetWare with Windows NT in all 232 of its UK stores.
Starting in July, the carpet retailer will upgrade up to 10 stores a day from NetWare 3.11 to NT 4.0 on its servers, and from DOS-based EPOS systems written in CA-Clipper to NT 4.0 Workstation and Visual Basic 4.0 on its clients.
Allied Carpets will standardise on a complete Microsoft store system based on NT and the BackOffice application server suite. SQL Server will be used to provide individual stores with access to stock information held in the company's central warehouse in Bolton.
Microsoft Exchange will be used to provide weekly bulletins and updates via Email.
Stephen Gay, PC systems development manager at Allied Carpets, said: "NT gave us a one-stop software solution, which is what we wanted."
A key feature of the system is Home Vision, an application which allows customers to see exactly how a carpet would look installed in their own home. Digital pictures are taken by Allied Carpets consultants and then uploaded onto the company's store system, which paints the floor space in a choice of 4,500 different floor covering styles. Allied Carpets expects to start piloting an extension to the Home Vision application in October which will allow its consultants to upload images automatically.
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