Whirlpool to expand IP network

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Whirlpool to expand IP network

Arif Mohamed
Whirlpool is to extend its global IP-based network so employees can use Voice over IP (VoIP) and other services to make cheap calls and collaborate across countries.

The white goods manufacturer, which has annual sales of more than 7.5bn worldwide, has signed a five-year, 15.5m contract with AT&T to expand its network to cover 150 locations across the world. This will include more than 30 manufacturing locations, 13 technology centres and 18 design centres.

The contract builds on an existing agreement whereby AT&T provides networking services including an IP virtual private network, long-distance, high-speed internet access and business continuity services. The network, based on secure multi-protocol label-switching technology, will enable Whirlpool to integrate its legacy networks into a single, IP-based global network.

Esat Sezer, chief information officer at Whirlpool, said, "This network will help facilitate innovation and collaboration among our engineers, designers, manufacturers and suppliers, streamline our processes and allow us to bring new products to market faster and more efficiently at reduced costs."

Networking tools can provide Whirlpool executives with reports on how the network is being used to help them make decisions faster, he said.

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