SOURCE: Aventail

October 27, 2005 07:00 ET

AmeriGas Unifies Access and Lowers Costs With Aventail and Netifice VPNs; Yankee Group Case Study

Leading Yankee Analyst Outlines Value of SSL VPNs and Recommends All Enterprises Make SSL Remote Access Part of Their Solution

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 27, 2005 -- SSL remote access should be part of a corporation's overall remote access strategy, recommends Zeus Kerravala, vice president of research, Yankee Group, in a recent case study. In the case study, Yankee features the remote access challenges of AmeriGas Petroleum, which chose a combination of VPN products and services from Aventail Corp and Netifice Communications to unify all access, lower communication costs, and increase performance and productivity.

Prior to choosing Aventail and Netifice, AmeriGas used multiple solutions and access methods for branch connectivity and remote users, including dial-up access, Frame Relay, Citrix, and IPSec VPN. AmeriGas wanted to create a network that provided all the applications to all users in real time, including users in the main locations and in the retail locations, as well as the approximately 200 executives and sales people that travel and need remote connectivity.

AmeriGas deployed Aventail's SSL VPN technology for all remote users and for the branch offices with Internet connections. For the branch offices with dial-up access, AmeriGas chose Netifice's fully managed broadband-based VPN service. Aventail and Netifice are strategic partners. Netifice and the many leading service providers it sells to, such as Sprint, MCI, AT&T, BT Infonet, and others, base their managed SSL VPN services businesses on the Aventail Smart SSL VPN platform. The Aventail technology is used in more than 95 percent of the managed SSL VPN services market.

"The AmeriGas situation is a perfect example of how companies need to evaluate and simplify their overall remote access infrastructure, and they need to make SSL remote access products part of the solution, because of its ease of use and management and lower TCO," said Yankee's Kerravala. "Enterprises should not automatically go with their current vendor or solution, but rather carefully choose the right flavor of VPN services for the majority of corporate locations and users."

The remote workers at AmeriGas needed access to Microsoft Outlook for e-mail, PeopleSoft for ERP, Cognos for data warehousing and Attachmate for mainframe access. The previous solutions suffered poor performance, complexity issues around deployment and management, and user support issues. AmeriGas created branch-level access by deploying thin-client terminals that use the Aventail SSL VPN to connect back to the corporate network. This combination of the thin client, SSL VPN and local internet access was a unique solution for branch office connectivity.

The Aventail SSL VPN technology and Netifice's managed services provided AmeriGas with the following benefits, according to the Yankee case study:

--  Increased performance: Applications such as PeopleSoft performed much
    better than with the Citrix solution.
--  Simplified User Experience: The clientless solution from Aventail
    removes the complexity from the end user. The feedback from the users was
    that the solution was incredibly simple to use. This decreased number of
    help desk calls by 50 per week.
The Netifice managed service provided the best price/performance broadband connection available locally, management of the CPE devices, and site-to-site VPN connectivity leveraging its MPLS network. By using Netifice, AmeriGas only needs to deal with one service provider, rather than potentially dozens to cover its hundreds of locations nationwide, the case study noted.

By standardizing on Aventail's SSL VPN remote access technology and Netifice's managed services, AmeriGas created an environment with a consistent set of applications available to all users, regardless of locations. This consistent access has the potential to make all users communicate more efficiently and be more productive, and as an added benefit, the solutions are delivered at a lower cost than the previous mixed solutions, the case study concluded.

About Aventail

Aventail is the best-of-breed SSL VPN product company and the authority on secure application access technology. Aventail delivered the first SSL VPN solution in 1997, and today, Aventail meets the secure communication needs of more than two million end users in over 75 countries. Aventail's family of SSL VPN appliances increases productivity for end users and IT professionals, while maximizing security and lowering costs. Aventail appliances are built on Aventail's proven platform, which leads the industry in End Point Control, policy management, and transparent, easy-to-use access options to the broadest range of applications. Aventail is the SSL VPN of choice among leading enterprises and service providers worldwide, such as AT&T, DuPont, IBM Global Services, MCI, Netifice, Office Depot, Sanyo, and TNT. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Aventail has an extensive global network of channel partners and sales support offices. For more information, go to

About Netifice Communications, Inc.

Netifice Communications is a global provider of flexible IP VPN solutions that enable businesses to lower costs, increase scalability and expand the deployment of enterprise applications and communication systems. Netifice customizes its clients IP VPNs using the widest selection of access, security and communication options, combined with advanced systems for managing and monitoring their IP VPN. Customers can easily deploy expansive networks so that their corporate headquarters, regional offices, remote workers, and retail outlets can communicate with each other as if they were in the same location. Netifice is recognized by customers for delivering the highest quality service and support with industry-leading Service Level Agreements that guarantee site-to-site performance and reliability. For more information go to or call 1-877-NETIFICE.

Aventail, Aventail ASAP, Aventail Smart SSL VPN, Aventail EX-1500, Aventail EX-750, Aventail OnDemand, Aventail Smart Tunneling, and their respective logos are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Aventail Corporation. Other product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for identification purposes only.

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