As a professional services recruitment firm working for thousands of clients and candidates, the telephone, as well as their network, is business-critical for Reed. The new contract sees telephony becoming a business application, with Reed upgrading all employees to a centralised and resilient IP telephony system, spanning 250 locations across the UK. Azzurri will replace Reed’s existing 5,500 ISDN and PTSN lines with 1,500 SIP trunks, equating to over five million voice calls (10 million minutes) routed per annum over SIP.
Sean Whetstone, Head of IT Services for Reed, said: “We challenged the leading UK network and telecoms providers to help us change the game. We believe the current network monitoring model is broken, with too much emphasis on simply meeting technical criteria. So instead of monitoring in terms of latency, jitter and packet loss, we wanted to ensure the health of our business applications could be measured and alerted based on the end user’s experience.”
Azzurri was the only firm able to demonstrate they could match Reed’s desire for innovation and provide an appropriate solution: the front-end of ICON is a graphical dashboard, offering Whetstone a real time view of application and service performance across all Reed’s networks, including servers, databases, desktop clients or applications. This gives him the necessary tool set to lower costs, reduce downtime and improve service levels to employees. Whetstone explains: “What Azzurri has provided Reed through their ICON platform is to me, network nirvana - as it offers a business-focused solution to something currently viewed as a technical headache.”
Though ICON, Reed will also gain from a 10GB backhaul network: bigger than some carriers offer in their entirety. Whetstone says: “This is an incredibly large amount of bandwidth now available to the business, which will future-proof us for any increased capacity requirements. For example, we may want to introduce multi-media capability as part of our recruitment offering. It means we won’t have to worry about any network impact; we can just support the business in any way they require.”
The IP telephony aspect of the contract will enhance Reed’s ability work flexibly, as each employee will have one transferable number that they can log-in to regardless of their office location. And with only one communications system, management information will be enriched and support issues minimised, as the estate no longer contains a mix of different standards and technologies.
The contract award, the third time Reed has renewed with Azzurri, is recognition of Azzurri’s ability to act a long term partner to large, multi-site UK-based organisations. Whetstone explains: “Azzurri has highly-skilled, experienced people and they offer best of breed solutions. The missing piece for me was the ability to pull together all their service strands into a business-oriented dashboard, with stringent monitoring and guarantees. With ICON, they’ve now done that, and my view is that this is a market first, which positions them very well to steal a march on their larger competitors.”
Tags: Server Virtualization, Network Virtualization