Johnson Matthey switches to broadband for global links

Broadband is becoming the preferred replacement for Frame Relay for companies worldwide branch office connections to...

Broadband is becoming the preferred replacement for Frame Relay for companies worldwide branch office connections to headquarters.

Johnson Matthey's precious metals division uses broadband as a key enabler for its small operations, the CMA Conference heard. The division's IT director Stephen Way said broadband was chosen because the company's previous wide area network was proving to be too expensive.

The company had relied on expensive leased lines and Frame Relay to support the Wan before it adopted broadband to cut costs.

Way said that as each country's operation, no matter how small, had to pay for its own connectivity, the company's legacy technology was too expensive.

Before Johnson Matthey built its broadband Wan, Way said the company had to overcome various hurdles. These included the bankruptcy of WorldCom, just after Johnson had awarded it a managed network contract, and the discovery that its staff were changing the configuration of the company's security protocols without permission.

Johnson initially used Novell Border Manager to secure its Wan, but this was replaced with a locked down Cisco Pix router system. The company has now put tight security guidelines in place.

Way said, "We do not use a single supplier for our connectivity, we tend to go to the incumbent provider in each country and take it from there. This also spreads the risk."

Way said broadband helps the company's management as each operation has its own internet gateway, where previously a single internet gateway served all the different operations.

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