The Funding Corporation switches to Thus IP network

Source: Thus

THUS plc today announced that it has migrated The Funding Corporation onto an MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) IPVPN across its Wide Area Network (WAN).

As one of the largest independent finance companies in the UK, the upgrade will provide The Funding Corporation with geographic convergence of all its voice and data services across a single infrastructure, drastically reducing networking costs and allowing for greater control, quality and bandwidth in supplying services to its branches across the UK.

The Funding Corporation, based in Chester, provides finance and loans to consumers under its own brand and through affinity partnerships. In order to stay at the forefront of the Internet revolution The Funding Corporation started working with THUS in 2002 to provide a positive online experience to its customers and sales staff, and connect eight of its satellite branches to its headquarters in Chester via Internet VPN. More recently, company expansion and the need for greater network flexibility convinced The Funding Corporation to migrate its existing voice and Internet services to an advanced MPLS network, connecting further branches to its core site and improving network uptime, performance and resilience.

Satellite branches can now connect to the THUS MPLS network via leased line, ADSL and PaDSL (Private access DSL) which is being used for Voice over IP. Branch Internet access is routed through the MPLS to The Funding Corporation's headquarters so that traffic can be classified and prioritised for business critical applications - such as the company's electronic product application service which is the main point of sale within its branches - which require 24x7 uptime.

Critical voice services will be supported by the MPLS network, delivering public and internal calls to contact centres and in-house departments. Calls can now easily be routed to customers local branches by using the THUS intelligent network and IVR platforms, which source STD codes for land-lines and determines geographic locations of mobile callers. Clear cost reductions will also result from the migration, as there will no longer be a need for expensive firewalls which are unnecessary on a MPLS network.

"Having already worked with THUS for two years we feel that we can confidently expand our business across the UK knowing that they fully understand our networking requirements. THUS has been flexible in providing competitive bespoke solutions, which integrate hosting, co-location, voice and data services seamlessly into our internal network. The extensive THUS product range and approach means it fits with The Funding Corporation's culture and works well with us today and into tomorrow," said Robert Quayle, IT Infrastructure Manager at The Funding Corporation.

As a result of the THUS Advanced Hosting Service (ASH), which has been in place since the outset of the relationship, The Funding Corporation can now host partners' websites, including Capital One, and provide partnership contracts backed by service level agreements (SLAs) of 99 per cent uptime. This is all underpinned by the THUS SLA.

In addition, The Funding Corporation is using the THUS co-location service for hosting its IBM mainframe systems holding inventory and customer information databases. This co-location service interfaces with the core MPLS network enabling remote branch access to company data and increased business continuity and high availability.

"Our service management and operations teams have aligned the overall solution with The Funding Corporations' best practices. From the outset of the relationship we have worked with The Funding Corporation's vision and managed their expectations by providing the most suitable solution to fit their various needs," said Phil Male, Chief Operating Officer at THUS plc. "Our ongoing relationship with The Funding Corporation has helped us understand the challenges faced by the company and allowed us to tailor a communications solution that provides the company with an edge over its competition."

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