MG Rover plans to install a new wide area network (Wan) across its UK car dealerships to cut costs and improve the performance of its web-based applications.
The car manufacturer will roll out the wide area IP virtual private network (VPN) across 160 UK sites in August, with plans to follow this with a global extension of the infrastructure.
Rover's existing frame relay ISDN network will be replaced with a Telefónica DSL-based IP VPN, to help ease bandwidth and internet cost pressures resulting from increased adoption of web applications through the dealership chain.
"Recently we have found that our dealers have been dialling up the ISDN lines more and more for emailing and accessing central web-based applications," said Peter Vetch, director of information systems at Rover's parent company Phoenix Venture Holdings, in a statement.
"Call charges have been increasing and performance has started to degrade."
Telecoms operator Telefónica will work with the MG Rover IT team to cut usage costs by installing a managed flat-rate DSL service, which will also bring added security when dealerships access the firm's central servers and intranet.
The flat-rate high bandwidth service will also save Rover dealerships money by cutting the cost of file transfers, such as brochures and images of latest cars, which are distributed to the dealership electronically.
A spokesman for MG Rover told vnunet.com that it was currently evaluating the possibility of extending the Wan across the 60 countries in which it operates globally.
"More and more dealerships and partners are accessing our corporate intranet and we are looking to help them access new applications and files faster," the spokesman said.
The Wan will also help the firm centrally manage deployment of new business applications and security patches, cutting down on individual site visits, he added.
The move follows MG Rover's decision last year to bring intranet and extranet services back in-house, in a bid to faster deploy services to its 400 showrooms across the UK.
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