The SAS Group Delivers WAN Infrastructure With Managed Services To Northcroft
|The SAS Group, an international provider of infrastructure design and managed communications services, has designed and installed a new BT MPLS WAN infrastructure for international construction company Northcroft.
The network which links eight sites in the UK is supported by a managed services agreement between the two companies.
Prior to the installation, Northcroft had been working with another network provider for its core WAN infrastructure but was generally unhappy with the service it was receiving; the network was unreliable, and change requests were frequently misapplied or unacceptably delayed. In addition, the company had no visibility of its network utilisation or performance, making it extremely difficult to plan the rollout of new applications.
Since its existing network contract was about to expire, Northcroft decided to take the opportunity to see what was available on the market and approached BT for advice.
Northcroft was looking for an MPLS-based wide area network to connect its eight UK offices. It also wanted a secondary, DSL-based, network to provide failover for the primary circuit, along with in-life monitoring and support services for all; ideally the secondary network would be sourced from another carrier to ensure diversity in the routing of the two networks.
"We were quite keen to go with BT because they own the majority of their network which means we only have to deal with one company if there are any faults," said Anthony Eason, associate director ICT for Northcroft. "Having said that, we didnít want to go to BT directly; a company of our size doesnít get that personal touch from BT so we really wanted to work with a third party that had a good relationship with BT and could manage the network for us."
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Aware of the companyís concerns about being too small to get sufficient attention, and unable to provide a redundant circuit via the Internet to MPLS, BT suggested working in collaboration with the SAS Group, a managed services specialist and long term partner of BTís for infrastructure design who could act as a single point of contract for both BT and non-BT networks.
To initiate the project, the SAS Group provided technical design authority for both the primary MPLS circuit, which would use BTís IP Clear technology, and the secondary connectivity, using Virgin Mediaís Business Broadband, thereby ensuring both technical and carrier resilience.
Working closely with BT and Virgin on the provisioning of the circuits, the SAS Groupís project and engineering teams took responsibility for managing the installation and configuration of the new network.
Since completing the project, the SAS Group has taken responsibility for managing and supporting the new infrastructure which includes 24/7 monitoring and helpdesk facilities from its network operations centre in West Sussex. The SAS Group also provides Northcroft with access to real time performance and utilisation statistics from its network managed system.
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