Debenhams Selects PortWise Software Platform for Secure Application Access for both Employees and Partners

Dublin, Ireland, Monday, 12 December 2005…Debenhams, the prestigious UK department store group with retail outlets in Dublin and Cork, has adopted the PortWise Application Access software platform for granting secure remote access solutions for employees and partners as an Identity and Access Management solution.

Following an evaluation of six suppliers, PortWise was selected as the platform of choice based on the strength of its comprehensive, integrated and secure offering. PortWise is distributed in Ireland by Espion.

Debenhams employs more than 19,000 people and is visited by 15.8 million customers each year. The company’s growing number of home workers, roaming workers and close interaction with third party partners was the key driver for establishing a secure and flexible access platform.

“We previously had an aging Internet based access system that granted very limited access to desktop applications, such as Word and email for our employees. Furthermore, access to our systems for third parties required a dedicated connection, which had its own set of technical, security and management overheads,” said Paul Willitt, Technical Architect for Debenhams.

“We have a lot of roaming users, such as our buyers who travel abroad and are constantly moving between stores. We also have a growing number of home workers and we work quite closely with carefully selected key partners. We wanted to find a means of securing full application-centric identity and access management for all of these groups of remote users.”

“PortWise was clearly the most extensive and flexible solution, and in terms of management, it was also the easiest,” added Willitt. “PortWise is the only solution which had its own two-factor authentication as a native part of its own offering. All of the other vendors we looked at relied on third parties. Because PortWise was completely integrated, it made the whole platform much easier for IT to implement, manage and support.”

Debenhams previously had about 200 employees using the old limited system. The company is currently in the process of deploying the PortWise solution to approximately 250 employees and partners over the coming weeks.

“PortWise has been an excellent partner to work with, we are not anticipating any problems with deployment to end-users,” concluded Willitt. The PortWise platform will be hosted and run from Debenhams’ Head Office in Taunton, which is also where the company’s finance and data systems are located and supported.

“By empowering both mobile employees and business partners to work more safely, we delivered against Debenhams’ strategy and architecture requirements for identity and access management,” said Jonathan Martin, Chief Marketing Officer for PortWise. “In light of recent identity frauds, maintaining or re-establishing trust between an organization and its employees, business partners and end-users require stronger authentication methods. Individual device assessment combined with strong two-factor authentication is crucial for public and private organisations to maintain brand trust. We are delighted to be the preferred platform of choice for Debenhams, which is indicative of our commercial momentum in the retail sector.”

PortWise is the industry’s first fully integrated software platform providing cost-effective Identity and Access Management solutions. The PortWise software platform provides a comprehensive approach to secure extranet access to applications for mobile users, business partners and customers. Working in harmony with existing intranet IAM solutions, or as a standalone product suite, the PortWise software platform offers a rich, integrated suite addressing all aspects of Extranet Identity and Access Management including proactive device assessment, strong authentication, reduced sign-on, policy-based user authorisation, secure clientless access, identity and access auditing, and session clean-up. Using the PortWise software platform, it is possible to give remote access to corporate information and applications for all extranet users such as mobile workforce, business partner and customers.

About PortWise

PortWise is the market leader in Identity and Access Management solutions for the Extranet Enterprise. A privately held international software company with offices in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Sweden, India, Singapore and partners across Europe, Asia and North America, PortWise software is used by over a million users worldwide. More information is available at

About Debenhams

Debenhams a eading UK department store group, with 120 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland, employs over 19,000 people and is visited by 15.8 million customers each year. In addition, Debenhams has over 23 overseas franchised stores. It currently has 20 exclusive designers, designing over 48 different ranges across fashion and home wares. These include J by Jasper Conran, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, Star by Julien Macdonald, Rocha.John Rocha and St George by Duffer. In total, Debenhams sells over 500 international brands and are the UK’s number one retailer of many international brands including Clarins and Yves Saint Laurent; Denby, Meyer, Portmerion and LeCreuset; Ben Sherman; Playtex and Lepel. Visit

About Espion

Espion Ltd, a wholly owned Irish company established in 2001, is the leading value added distributor and supplier of best-of-breed new security technology products and services distributed through a network of resellers and partners.

Espion is committed to a channel focused business model working with our channel partners to deliver the best security solutions and professional services to their clients.

Espion is also responsible for the Irish Honeynet Project a research project which, monitors and reports on the number of hacking incidents against a number of computers presented anonymously to the internet. This project is an attempt to learn the tools, tactics, and motives of the blackhat community and share those lessons learnt as well as to qualify the hype and provide an Irish perspective with local knowledge and yet participate in a global initiative.

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