SAS Global Communications transforms WAN infrastructure and support for the R&M Electrical Group

Posted on Monday May 9, 2011

London - SAS Global Communications, an international provider of managed and professional network services, today announced the completion of a project to upgrade the WAN infrastructure of the R&M Electrical Group, one of the UK’s largest independent electrical distributors. The new infrastructure will be supported by a managed services agreement between the two companies which includes 24/7 network monitoring and proactive helpdesk services.

R&M Electrical provides a range of products and services to customers around the world, including customers at key operations within the Ministry of Defence. As a business that relies heavily on communications in order to process customer transactions, working with a managed service provider that responds quickly to any issues with network performance or availability is crucial to R&M’s continued success. Unfortunately, this had not been the company’s recent experience.

“Most of our remote sites have business critical applications connecting to head office,” said Mark Stone, group IT manager for R&M Electrical. “We were having days of sites not being able to process any transactions because the circuits were down and we couldn’t get a response from our service provider.”

As a long term user of BT’s IP Clear network, Mark decided to contact BT for advice.
“Apart from the issues we were having with our service provider, we also wanted to introduce some new database applications which would need more bandwidth and class of service, so this was an opportunity to address both requirements at the same time,” said Mark.
BT suggested an introduction to SAS, a specialist in managed and professional services who could help R&M with the design, installation and support of its network.
“I was sceptical at first, we had had our fair share of third party managed service providers,” said Mark. “But once I’d met SAS, I felt reassured; SAS had all the answers I wanted and hearing the BT engineers say that SAS was superb was really enough.”

To kick off the project, SAS provided technical design authority for a new IP Clear MPLS network based on BT’s 21CN technology and, together with R&M, designed a failover network using an existing LES circuit at the company’s disaster recovery site. SAS also provided a team of engineers for the installation and configuration of the Cisco routers terminating each circuit.

Since completing the installation of R&M’s new network, SAS has taken on responsibility for managing and supporting the infrastructure, including the provision of a single point of contact for any faults, MACs or billing issues on the company’s network estate, and detailed performance stats for planning and development.
“We’re really getting the proactive support we wanted now,” said Mark. “SAS is monitoring our lines 24/7 so if one of our sites goes down at the weekend I’ll get a phone call and I can take immediate action to correct it.”

“With SAS and BT, we’ve got better support, better response times and a faster network –all at a lower cost,” said Mark.

“Many companies have the knowledge and resource to support their networks in-house, but few can deliver a service comparable with an MSP because they can’t command the same level of influence over a carrier’s behavior,” said Charles Davis, CEO for SAS Global Communications. “R&M understands that the carrier relationship is crucial to the service it receives and, despite its previous bad experience, is more than happy to put its network in the hands of SAS.”