Financial Times cuts costs with BT network

The Financial Times has signed a £3.5m contract with BT to deploy a new wide-area network across more than 50 office and print...

The Financial Times has signed a £3.5m contract with BT to deploy a new wide-area network across more than 50 office and print sites around the world, cutting distribution and support costs by up to one fifth.

Ian Cohen, group IT director at the Financial Times, predicted that the new network will improve efficiency and reduce print distribution and office support costs by 20% in the first year, although he was unable to give a monetary value.

The media giant has already started moving from a frame relay-based system to an IP virtual private network using multi-protocol label switching tech-nology. Over the past nine months, the FT has also migrated all its print sites to a standardised page distribution system.

Cohen said, "In the past 30 years, we have not missed one edition - something we pride ourselves on.

"Keeping this record intact while migrating our core network to technologies that offer greater flexibility is vital," he said.

The FT has a reputation as an IT innovator. The company recently announced it has added Fujitsu Siemens servers to its existing Sun infrastructure in a move designed to save more than £1m over the next three years and provide computing capacity on demand.

Processors in the Fujitsu servers can be activated and deactivated as required, giving an on-demand service better able to handle a fluctuating workload.

The deals also signalled the start of an innovative dual supplier approach, where the Financial Times will use servers from two suppliers, Fujitsu and Sun Microsystems, to support the Solaris operating system.

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