Premier Foods and Specsavers adopt virtual network operator model

Virtual network operator (VNO) Vanco has announced a series of contracts with companies at its annual press and customer event in Barcelona.

Virtual network operator (VNO) Vanco has announced a series of contracts with companies at its annual press and customer event in Barcelona.

It has announced contracts with Premier Foods, Specsavers, Eurosport, security firm Brinks, and Cookson Electronics, all firms seeking to reduce comms costs by using a patchwork of third-party network services put together and re-sold by Vanco.

Premier Foods, owner of brands including Hovis, Mr Kipling, Bisto, Branston and Batchelors, has signed a five-year deal with Vanco.

The contract will see Vanco design, implement and manage a multi-protocol label switching (MPLS)-based network connecting 83 UK Premier sites.

In March last year, Premier acquired RHM and the firm needed to establish group-wide IS systems. Premier chose Vanco to provide a network that would support the integration and consolidation of the two businesses.

Sites that will be connected include depots, datacentres, offices and food manufacturing facilities.

Vanco will incorporate multiple providers' networks to form Premier Foods' new MPLS network. This benefits the firm, as Vanco acts as a single point of contact, rather than the Premier IT team having to deal with multiple providers if there is a fault or any necessary changes.

Phil McCallum, Premier Foods director of IT and infrastructure, said, "A major plus point was Vanco's independence. It means that we know the technology that we are using is the best and most suitable for us, as Vanco is not just pushing us to use its own equipment and services."

The value of the Premier deal has not been disclosed, but Vanco put a £4.5m price tag on the five year deal it has signed with Specsavers to supply a global wide area network.

The system will use DSL technology across more than 800 sites in six countries. Specsavers wants to increase its bandwidth and scalability, allowing its stores to be networked in the most efficient way to support further growth.

Ruskin Snow, Specsavers IT operations manager, said, "Vanco's technical and carrier independence made a considerable difference. Its ability to provide us with the most suitable network for our needs, means that we have the freedom to carry on growing and evolving."

The Eurosport deal includes a hybrid internet VPN solution working with a MPLS Matrix system, along with backup on ADSL networks. The solution will link a dozen sites across Europe and the rest of the world, including the increasingly important Chinese operation.

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