London - SAS Global Communications, an international provider of managed and professional network services, has designed and installed a new wide area network (WAN) for Dennis Eagle, the UK’s largest manufacturer of refuse collection vehicles. Connecting Dennis Eagle’s Warwick headquarters, its eight UK depots and its Chorley-based spare parts supplier, Lex Multipart, the new network supports Dennis Eagle’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and email systems, and has been built for resilience. To ensure the ongoing performance of the WAN infrastructure, SAS is also providing managed services to remotely monitor and administer the network.
The increase in recycling initiatives across the UK and Europe, together with the company’s reputation for high levels of service, has led to a growing number of orders for Dennis Eagle, which manufactures, services and maintains refuse collection vehicles. To process these orders efficiently, the company decided to implement a centralised ERP system, however its previous WAN was not sufficiently stable to support such a mission-critical application; it was not unusual for a depot to experience network downtime for up to a week at a time. In order to support the new ERP system, as well as the increasing volume of inter-site email, Dennis Eagle appointed SAS to design, implement and manage a more robust WAN infrastructure.
SAS installed a BT MPLS IP Clear WAN to connect Dennis Eagle’s nine sites and supplier, Lex Multipart. In the unlikely event of a network outage, traffic would be seamlessly re-routed over an Internet virtual private network (VPN), also implemented by SAS. To ensure ongoing network performance, SAS’s managed services provide real-time monitoring of both networks; the company also manages the resolution of any carrier network faults, working directly with BT, on behalf of Dennis Eagle.
“Our previous WAN was not fit for purpose; regular prolonged outages hindered our ability to service customers and were a constant drain on resources. When we decided to centralise our IT systems, it was imperative that we overhauled our network infrastructure at the same time,” said Alastair Cutteridge, head of IT, Dennis Eagle. “By comparison, our new WAN has gone down just once in the last four months, and even then our employees, supplier and customers were completely unaware of any issue, SAS ensured automatic failover to the back-up network. With SAS providing 24/7 monitoring of the infrastructure, as well as managing our relationship with BT, we can benefit from an extremely robust network without any of the burden of everyday management.”
Dennis Eagle appointed SAS to undertake this project after a three way competitive tender. SAS was selected for its proven track record with wide area network infrastructures and its close relationship to Dennis Eagle’s telecoms provider, BT; SAS is the largest distributor of BT products and services in the UK.
Prior to this installation, SAS had undertaken two other projects for Dennis Eagle. Initially, it was brought in to rationalise the vehicle manufacturer’s phone line billing processes. At the time, the company was receiving more than 130 BT invoices each month, but with SAS’s assistance this has been reduced dramatically. In the second project, SAS upgraded Dennis Eagle’s Internet connectivity, helping to both reduce circuit costs and boost bandwidth. It also reconfigured the company’s firewalls and other hardware to take advantage of this additional bandwidth. The successful completion of these projects was also instrumental in Dennis Eagle’s decision to appoint SAS for a third time.
“The continuous demands of network monitoring and SLA management can severely eat into the productivity of internal IT departments,” said Charles Davis, CEO for SAS Global Communications. “With our support specialists taking responsibility for these tasks, Dennis Eagle’s IT staff can concentrate on ensuring that their business critical applications are performing optimally without any nagging worries that network operations might fail.”