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AURORA MEDICAL CENTER INVESTS IN 800 SEATS OF NCD'S THINPATH PC SOFTWARE TO MEET NEW ENTERPRISE SYSTEM DEMANDS
Portland, OR - November 1, 2002 - Network Computing Devices, Inc., ((NCD) (OTC: NCDI.OB)), a leading producer of thin client solutions, today announced that The Medical Center of Aurora, an HCA/HealthOne hospital located near Denver, Colorado, has purchased 800 seats of NCD's ThinPATH PC and ThinPATH Management Portal. This new software manages PCs as thin clients, and has greatly improved the medical center staff's user experience and the efficiency of the IT support staff.
Following an HCA seminar for IT directors, which highlighted the many future projects that would vastly change the dynamics of the IT department, Sally Guinane, the hospital's director of information systems, and Steve Pratt, network administrator, realized that they faced a daunting set of challenges: The hospital's Meditech application, which the hospital's nursing staff had previously accessed via dumb terminals, now needed to be deployed in a Windows-based PC environment. In addition, a new purchasing management software, MediBuy, needed to be deployed in an environment with access to a web browser. Finally, other administrative requirements were increasing the need for more PCs overall. The impact was 1,500 new PCs that needed to be set up, customized, and supported.
"The dumb terminals had not needed much management," explained Pratt. "We now faced a major challenge - a huge increase in the number of PCs without a commensurate increase in technicians to support them. How were we going to deploy that many PCs and still be able to successfully manage them with a lean and mean support staff?"
Pratt and Guinane contacted Global Village Systems, Inc., an NCD reseller and recognized leader in networking technology and server-based computing. Global Village Systems helped to design a pilot program using thin-client terminals. Although this solution showed some promise, there was a fatal flaw. There was no guarantee that the new 32-bit Windows version of Meditech would run on a thin client.
The Medical Center of Aurora and Global Village Systems then turned to NCD's new software offering, NCD ThinPATH PC. This software enables a PC to function as a thin client, while still retaining the ability to function as a PC. Applications can be run locally or from a Citrix MetaFrame XP server farm. The PC can be completely administered by the IT staff remotely, using NCD's ThinPATH Management Portal.
Guinane made the decision to purchase 800 licenses of NCD ThinPATH PC, and the solution has worked so well that The Medical Center of Aurora plans to deploy the software on all 1500+ desktops at the medical center. Using NCD ThinPATH PC and NCD ThinPATH Management Portal to create a "thin PC environment," the IT team is able to deploy PCs throughout the organization that are remotely administered and controlled. The software allows them to easily manage the ever-increasing number of applications, and provide superior user support, all with a very small IT staff working in a highly distributed environment, consisting of three separate campuses.
"NCD ThinPATH PC has already made us a much more efficient department," states Guinane. "The ability to set up and manage PCs from a centralized location is a huge advantage for us. Our IT team used to have to configure everything at the nurses' stations, but now they can deploy everything from our IT shop. They can set up 15 devices in 30 minutes. This causes a lot less aggravation for the nursing staff. The IT staff is not in their way, and we can begin training them as soon as we plug in. It's truly a plug and play solution."
Pratt also likes the flexibility of the ThinPATH PC shell, which makes it easier to customize access for each user. In a Windows 2000 environment, users either need passwords or their own domains. In the medical center's new "thin PC" environment, the ThinPATH PC shell logs onto the desktop and gives users access to their local applications and Citrix MetaFrame-based applications.
This feature has greatly enhanced the user experience. For example, a nurse manager can now log onto her desktop from any of the ThinPATH PC terminals in the hospital - she doesn't necessarily need to return to her office to access her applications. Another example of improved usability - one of the secretaries formerly had to use two different types of terminals in two different locations - one for Meditech and one for MediBuy. Now she can access all her applications via a PC with ThinPATH PC at her desk.
"Many of the nursing staff are self-proclaimed computer novices," according to Pratt. "In fact, in a recent survey many of them rated themselves as having zero knowledge." They were not exaggerating. The IT staff often fields questions such as 'how do you use a mouse?' "We installed the new PCs with ThinPATH PC software and gave them new, sleek, flat panel monitors to assist with the buy-in. Within five minutes they were saying, 'Wow, this is neat!' NCD ThinPATH PC is extremely usable; they're quickly getting used to the interface. Frankly, I had expected it to be more difficult."
In addition to an enhanced user experience and increased efficiencies for the IT department, NCD ThinPATH PC offers an important added benefit - increased security. "It's difficult to completely lock down a Windows 2000 desktop," comments Pratt. "This will reduce the damage that can be done either accidentally or purposefully, and will enhance the IT staff's control over the security and the terminals." ThinPATH PC may even enhance Pratt's and other hospital network administrators' ability to comply with HIPPA requirements.
"ThinPATH PC gives me more flexibility than a thin client terminal solution would have," concludes Pratt. "Another big advantage is the support I've received from NCD and Global Village Systems. I have been able to work closely with them to customize the software to my needs."
About NCD ThinPATH PC
About ThinPATH Management Portal
About The Medical Center of Aurora, an HCA/HealthOne Hospital
TMCA is a 346-licensed bed hospital with a Level II trauma center located in Aurora, Colorado. The City of Aurora has a population of 286,000 and is immediately adjacent to the City and County of Denver, Colorado. TMCA is the only acute care hospital in the Eastern Metropolitan Denver area.
About Global Village Systems, Inc.
Founded in 1988, Network Computing Devices, Inc., supplies information access and management products that extend server-based computing to give customers a competitive edge and a better bottom line. Over one million NCD thin clients are installed with over 3 billion hours of operation. The company can be reached on the Internet at: www.ncd.com
Network Computing Devices and ThinPATH are registered trademarks of Network Computing Devices, Inc. ThinFrastructure is a trademark of Network Computing Devices Inc. Other trademarks are the acknowledged property of their respective holders.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include statements regarding the consummation of the acquisition of the NCD thin client product line, the partnership of Neoware and NCD, continued development, support and enhancement of the ThinSTAR products, the ability of ThinSTAR customers to continue to receive upgrades, revenue and profit growth, the seamless transition for ThinSTAR customers, increased market share, increased distribution channels, broader product offerings, improved products and services, the addition of knowledgeable employees, acceleration and enhancement of Neoware's growth strategy, increased focus on Neoware's competitive advantages, the reduction in product costs, Neoware's development of key relationships and continued investment in sales and marketing. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements also include statements regarding NCD's receipt of the contingent portion of the sale consideration, Neoware's purchase of NCD's European operations and future partnership between NCD and Neoware. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted in any such forward-looking statement include Neoware's ability to successfully integrate the NCD thin client business and to lower its costs, Neoware's timely development and customers' acceptance of Neoware's appliance computing products, including the former NCD thin client products, pricing pressures, rapid technological changes in the industry, growth of the appliance computing market, increased competition, Neoware's ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, including the former NCD employees, Neoware's ability to identify and consummate future acquisitions, adverse changes in general economic conditions in the U.S. and internationally, and risks associated with foreign operations and political and economic uncertainties associated with current world events. These and other risks are detailed from time to time in Neoware's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, its report on Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2001