Managed services from SAS Global Communications deliver early savings for Tulip

London - SAS Global Communications, an international provider of managed and professional network services, is claiming to have helped pork producer, Tulip, achieve significant service improvements through the implementation of the company’s managed communications service. In addition, since signing up for the service in February 2009, Tulip has reduced its annual running costs and recouped a number of historical overpayments.

Tulip is one of the UK’s largest producers of pork, providing a wide selection of products to both the retail and foodservice markets. Over the last six years, the company has achieved massive growth through the acquisition of a wide selection of household pork brands: in all, a huge success story but also a sizeable challenge for the team responsible for technically integrating all of the company’s new operations which now include 18 UK sites and around 1500 users of the company’s networks and systems.

“We needed to put a network in place that would allow each site to talk to each other and the outside world, as well as fostering the idea of being one company,” said Tony Brown, director of group information systems and technology at Tulip. “We also needed a robust, reliable platform for our SAP system and to enable video conferencing and IP telephony.”

Collectively, these requirements demanded much greater network visibility and reporting capabilities than were available through its carrier, BT, however the company was not keen to move away from BT because of the inherent quality and reliability of its products.

Tulip was introduced by BT to SAS, a specialist in managed services and a long term services partner of BT’s, and after seeing the capabilities of SAS’s network operating centre, it signed up with the company to manage its network estate.

Over the months that followed, SAS put a formal process in place for tracking and escalating networking queries on behalf of Tulip, and assigned a service relationship manager to oversee activities on the account. It also took on a number of outstanding issues on the company’s communications estate, including several billing queries dating back more than two years.

“With so much acquisition activity going on and people signing off on bills without any real ownership, it was extremely difficult to keep track of all the circuits in our estate,” said Tony. “We had already embarked on an audit of our BT bills, and with SAS’s network and contacts we were able to recover significant sums from overbilling. Having SAS involved really focused attention and speeded up the process”

Since then, SAS has taken on responsibility for managing and monitoring Tulip’s entire network estate, including 18 WAN sites, 60 data circuits, 70 voice circuits and 60 IP devices, resulting in further substantial savings on annual network running costs.

SAS’s managed services also provide Tulip with real-time access to a comprehensive range of infrastructure performance statistics, essential for managing the roll-out and support of applications like ERP, video conferencing and IP telephony. In addition, SAS now acts as a single point of contact for all queries or faults on Tulip’s BT estate.

“Working with SAS has definitely led to an improvement in the service levels we receive on our network,” said Tony. “SAS has better contacts within BT than we could ever hope to have; they know exactly who to talk to and how to fast-track any issues that need escalating.”

Over time, Tony is also confident that using SAS’s managed services will enable him to free up resource.

“Having so much more network intelligence available has literally changed the way we operate,” said Tony. “We can now look at ways to take the business forward instead of just managing it at a standstill.”

“Companies are often sceptical about using a managed services provider,” said Charles Davis, CEO for SAS Global Communications. “There’s a general association of high cost, poor service levels and loss of control. Tulip has discovered that the opposite is true with SAS; the company is not only saving money on its annual running costs, and avoiding any future risk of overpayment, it’s also receiving much higher levels of service than it could access in its own right, and the intelligence now available on its network means it can be more in control of its destiny than ever before.”

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