Retail giant Safeway is to replace 800 PCs with network computers this year, in a radical strategy to move critical applications from client-server to an NC architecture.
In the biggest commitment yet made by a UK corporation to the emerging NC or thin client computing model, Safeway has already started to move decision support and office applications from PCs to thin clients and plans to migrate some on-line transaction processing functions by the end of the year.
IT director Mike Winch is responsible for the strategy, which the company believes will cut costs and enhance its claims to be the most innovative UK retailer in the use of IT.
Part of the IT overhaul includes a plan to put business intelligence tools on all desks, including field salesforce laptops.
Safeway has purchased a decision support software suite from Brio. It said the suite offers full functionality, including the ability to write complex reports, and supports the transition to the NC platform.
Safeway will source the NC hardware from a variety of manufacturers.
It claims the training requirements for existing PC users will be "minimal" because of the ease of use of the browser interface on the NC.
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