AmeriKing's AKInet intranet portal uses Plumtree Portal Server running on Windows 2000 on a stand-alone two-processor 800MHz Compaq ProLiant ML370 server with 650MB RAM. On the back end, the portal is connected to the AmeriKing's Sagent Solution enterprise intelligence decision support system (DSS) from Sagent Technology, which runs on Windows 2000. The Sagent software is in turn crunching data from five subject-matter data marts running on a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database on a Compaq ProLiant 8500. The portal is also integrated with the company's Solomon accounting system from Great Plains and with Microsoft Exchange.
AmeriKing's e-mail and fax communications infrastructure depends on Exchange Server and the Outlook client, via a portal gadget. In addition, the company has two large SQL Server 2000 databases. One of these databases contains five subject data marts, and one is the operations data store, which contains sales information uploaded from the restaurants. "SQL Server in particular is a very good product for the money," says AmeriKing CIO Hernando Manrique.
Though some may question the de facto standardization on Microsoft, it actually helped narrow the portal field considerably. According Paul Brizz, who was at the time with Wittman-Hart, which helped develop the Burger King franchisee's portal, Plumtree performs well in a Microsoft environment, and also integrates easily with Microsoft applications. "A Microsoft-based portal solution was a good fit for their organization, especially since they were already using both Outlook and SQL Server," he says.