Energis has won a #27 million, five-year contract from Boots The Chemist to install an advanced transmission network, linking over 1,300 locations. Claimed to be the largest frame-relay network worldwide, it replaces the existing BT leased line network and establishes a firm foundation for any future Internet-based operations.
Energis, with about 16,000 customers, makes no secret of its ambition to garner the biggest, blue-chips, and the Boots contract is a significant coup for the youthful telecomms division of National Grid, established in 1994. Working with Boots since 1995, it designed and installed indirect telephone services and installed Boots? virtual private network.
The advanced transmission network will carry datacomms traffic from EPOS terminals, online credit card authorisation and stock order processing and control. It can cater for another 600 sites without extra capital investment, and Boots, which opens around 60 stores per year, can opt to use for Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) operations, enabling voice, data and video operations.
Simon Brodie, Boots? director of group IT, said: ?Data is the most important weapon in the arsenal to deliver quality services to customers. The reliability and speed of our datacomms network are of paramount importance... After a thorough assessment of the major providers... it was clear that Energis offered the speed, resilience and flexibility that we require.?
The system is designed to cut the costs of creating and maintaining a data network, and the new topology will run on installed 3Com routers. The initial phase starts this summer, with 240 stores migrating by Christmas.
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