AT&T (NYSE:T) today announced that financial services firm Edward Jones, which ranks highest in full-service investor satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, has awarded AT&T a contract worth at least $54 million.
The five-year agreement supports the convergence of voice, video and data onto a single "Global Branch Network" that integrates nearly 10,000 branch offices throughout North America and the U.K.
To create Edward Jones' Global Branch Network, AT&T is providing a global Virtual Private Network (VPN) service using Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology. The Global Branch Network will enable Edward Jones to replace its satellite network that has been in use since the 1980s.
This managed Internet Protocol solution with globally consistent features and functionality supports Edward Jones' strategy of delivering outstanding client service while minimizing the need to build and provide ongoing operational support for the network.
"The satellite system is no longer adequate to serve our growing branch network, so we've designed this technology upgrade to ensure reliable access to applications that complement face-to-face customer interaction in all branch offices," said Vinny Ferrari, chief information officer for Edward Jones. "Once completed, our Global Branch Network will enable each office to take full advantage of leading-edge applications that will help us better communicate with our clients."
AT&T's VPN services will provide any-to-any connectivity for all Edward Jones locations while providing Class of Service and Multicasting required to effectively deliver their applications. Additionally, this solution provides the foundation for Edward Jones to adopt other cost-effective technologies, such as AT&T's Business Voice over Internet Protocol (BVoIP) service, which would enable Edward Jones locations to place and receive local and long distance calls via the VPN.
"We are proud that Edward Jones selected AT&T to deploy a network that is robust, resilient and redundant to support the 'always available' nature of their business," said Ron Spears, executive vice president-AT&T Business Sales. "AT&T's VPN service will provide Edward Jones with an easily scalable infrastructure to support its current and future business requirements."
In addition to the network upgrade, Edward Jones has agreed to a six-year $22.5 million extension of its current OneNet contract. AT&T OneNet is a flexible solution that allows companies such as Edward Jones that have a need for multiple communications services to build applications for voice, data, contact center, Internet and calling card requirements, as needed.