Media agency Ogilvy is deploying a combined data and voice IP network that supports wireless connectivity and supplies gigabit bandwidth to the desktop.
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The main driver for installing the network was user demand for more bandwidth from Ogilvy's TV production operations. There was also a general requirement for a more flexible telephony architecture.
Ogilvy's data network has gone live and work is now under way on the IP telephony network that will initially supply voice over IP to 850 staff using 1,000 phones at the firm's London headquarters in Canary Wharf.
Ogilvy is working with BTSkyNet on the Cisco network, which updates a five-year-old network that was also from Cisco.
Jamie McLellan, regional technology director for Ogilvy's operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said flexible team-working across the group meant there was a need for a more adaptable system.
"We used to need to allocate internal resources on a monthly basis to manage the frequent changes to our communications infrastructure," he said. "With the new communications system, users will be able to serve themselves and use any available desk, freeing up resources and helping employees to be more productive more quickly.
"Greater wireless capabilities will bring a level of flexibility for both staff and clients not afforded today, making teamwork and collaboration more straightforward."
The move from analogue to digital broadcast communications has also led to the installation of Gigabit Ethernet, which has 10-times the bandwidth of the regular 100BaseT standard.
The gigabit network is ring-fenced on a virtual local area network, but it will only be delivered to those users who need it. Ogilvy is not installing new desktops to accommodate the faster network.
Security should also be improved, with an older 4000 series security appliance from Cisco being replaced by Cisco VPN 3000 series concentrators.
McLellan said installing the data network was the easier part of the network upgrade, and he and his team had initial reservations about bringing in the voice network without any glitches.
"But we do believe the solution is now at a level of maturity to work effectively. Ogilvy is quite a conservative organisation when it comes to some technologies, and we are satisfied VoIP will bring real benefits," he said.