By optimising network performance and the innovative services built on top of the network, organisations can ensure that they are ready to meet the growing expectations of customers and other key stakeholders head on.
Network Enabled Services is the term that BT uses to describe its portfolio of business networking solutions. It was designed with the knowledge that every organisation is different in size, scale and scope, and no two customers will have the exact same requirements.
“Network services are at the heart of our customers’ business strategies and we have seen a major transformational shift in what organisations now expect from their network service provider,” says Peter Russell, Head of Public Sector and Major Business for BT in Northern Ireland. “We build our network services from the ground up, meaning that from the outset, we work with our customers to define their requirements, then determine what they want to achieve and what their business needs are, and from there we build a tailored solution.”
Russell believes that organisations are starting to understand the business benefits of having a first class network. “Both the public and private sectors are becoming increasingly dependent on their network in order to drive improved services or profitable growth,” he remarks. “They want to work remotely and be as efficient as if they were sitting at their office desk; they want converged voice, data and video networks to communicate more effectively with colleagues and customers, and most importantly, they want a service provider that they can trust to keep their data safe and deliver a resilient and reliable service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Reputation and experience therefore play a major role when choosing a provider that you can trust, factors which Russell believes should be central to the decision-making process. “Having the most extensive network in Northern Ireland is a major advantage for BT, but it is not enough to have the infrastructure, you must have the experience and a very strong service capability,” Russell explains. “The recent G8 summit in Fermanagh and our delivery of the communications requirements for this important event is just one example of how BT can successfully deliver a complex and secure network at very short notice.”
Local and global capability
“BT’s global reach allows us to offer a full range of reliable, tried and tested services from hosted voice, data and video to Data Centre, cloud security and advisory services” says Russell. “This capability combined with BT’s significant local presence (BT employs over 2,500 people in Northern Ireland) and the fact that BT has the most secure ‘carrier neutral’ data centre in Northern Ireland, is very appealing to customers.” We are able to exploit the benefits of global expertise and products, but at the same time make local commercial decisions and our team of experts on the ground ensure the optimum delivery of our customer services.”
Confidence in BT’s Network Enabled Service offering is evident in the partnerships it has built with organisations such as Danske Bank, Northern Ireland Water, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Colleges NI and several of the health trusts, something Russell attributes to BT’s vision for Northern Ireland. “We are continually investing in our network to provide the best services both to consumers and organisations, which in turns helps them to diversify and seek new opportunities,” he says. “Our recent roll out of ‘fibre to the cabinet’ and ‘wireless to the cabinet’ technologies are just some examples of our constant drive to deliver innovative technology to as many homes and businesses as possible in Northern Ireland.”
Public service networks
It is BT’s experience in the public sector, both locally and in Great Britain, that sets it apart from its competitors, according to Russell. “We’ve been closely involved in eGovernment programmes since they started in 1998 and we are the largest ICT provider to the UK public sector.
We have unrivalled Public Services Network (PSN) certified accreditations and have also been placed in the leaders quadrant of the Gartner Global Network Service Providers Magic Quadrant for the sixth year running. These internationally recognised accreditations coupled with our experience in designing value for money solutions makes us ideally placed to partner with both public and private sector organisations.”
Flexibility and choice are also becoming increasingly important to our customers, according to Russell. “A flexible network allows you to scale up and down so you can provide services and compete locally as well as globally, he comments. “In addition, BT’s extensive partner ecosystem allows us to provide our customers with choice. Whether you need to urgently increase bandwidth, expand your videoconferencing for your management team visiting from abroad, move to a hosted voice solution, or even move your ICT to the cloud, BT is the only partner in Northern Ireland that can directly provide all of these services. We understand that our customers demand choice, great service and value for money, and we aim to meet these requirements every time.”
Making it work for you
Most organisations today find themselves in the position where IT budgets are shrinking yet demands on the network are increasing. Therefore, the network has to be able to scale up or down in the most efficient and cost-effective way and still fit in with the organisation’s strategy. “Our customers range in size as we serve both SMEs and very large enterprise organisations so our range of services has to reflect these varied requirements,” Russell says. “We can supply anything from major MPLS circuits, to superfast broadband, to ‘fibre to the cabinet’ technology, and our wide portfolio of ICT solutions means that we can also offer a one stop shop for customers − saving them both time and money, reducing risk and ensuring the best solution for their business needs.”
Russell concludes by referencing the unprecedented number of new customers that have moved to BT over the past year. “Through our partnerships we are seeing solid evidence that our Network Enabled Services strategy is moving in the right direction. By working closely with our customers to understand their business challenges, we can successfully deliver a value for money, scalable, tailored solution that will not only get the most from their network, but will be ready to incorporate the many new technologies that the future will bring.”