The Business Need
Mirion Technologies had a problem with their ERP application. They were using an older version of the software because it was in the process of being replaced. In the meantime, their newest Windows clients couldn’t run it.
Solving the problem by upgrading to a more recent version wasn’t an option. They had already tried using Windows Virtual PC and a Terminal Services installation to get around the issue but there were problems with both those approaches. So they asked IS People if we could come up with a better solution.
We thought the application publishing features of the NetConnect SSL VPN from Northbridge Secure would get around this problem. We structured a no risk trial to demonstrate the solution, installed the platform onto their VMware infrastructure and assisted with the configuration to get it working. When it was shown to work, we helped with the rollout to affected users.
The main benefit is the ability to run their ERP application on the newest operating systems. Mirion have also gained a robust remote access solution which supports mobile devices like the iPad while being much simpler to administer than a traditional VPN. And our knowledge of the platform will allow us to assist them to configure NetConnect to aid integration with other remote services.
The full story
After many years’ experience installing and maintaining the NetConnect SSL VPN, the consultants at IS People are very familiar with the capabilities of the underlying platform. NetConnect is a flexible “one box” solution which can be multi-homed, provides its own SSL termination and firewall, and will integrate with your directory services for user authentication.
While it is marketed and generally used as a remote access solution, we knew that it includes a publishing engine which can manage remote access to Windows Remote Desktop Services applications. There was no reason why those applications couldn’t also be accessed on the internal network as well. By acting as a bridge between the user and application, we thought this might resolve Mirion’s problem so we proposed a trial implementation.
NetConnect is available as a virtual appliance with a month’s trial license. IS People had recently completed a project to virtualise the server infrastructure at Mirion. We suggested installing the appliance on the new VMware platform. We could try publishing the ERP application and they could test the platform’s other features. This was a simple, no-risk proposal which Mirion were happy to accept.
The installation and configuration was carried out successfully using pre-paid support time and then handed over to Mirion IT staff for testing. The ERP application was rolled out to the affected users, with more licenses being added as the platform proved itself, all backed by continuing support from IS People.