Scenic upgrades networking for global expansion

Tour company boosts bandwidth

Australian travel firm Scenic has cut networking costs, allowing it to support a global group of companies.

The Newcastle-based firm has 300 employees and offers luxury tours to international destinations.

In 2014, the company was facing problems including the high cost of IP transit from its incumbent provider and delays carrying out firewall configuration changes.

Scenic worked with Vocus Communications over a 12 month period and installed an MPLS WAN.

The vendor also implemented business productivity software EG for Scenic, which is the foundation of the tour operator's communications -as-a-service (CaaS) call centre from Interactive Intelligence.

Scenic group IT manager Steve Morris said that Scenic needed to “move up a gear” and have infrastructure and systems in place to support a global group of companies.

“We have a very small IT department so the management of that network was important. It unburdened my one network engineer from having to worry about that side of it. We had a partner [Vocus] we could lean on when we did need additional networking services,” he said.

This came in handy when Scenic had a networking outage in April during severe storms in Sydney.

“The good thing with Vocus is that we could drive to their office and start working with their team.”

As a result of the changes, the company saw improvements in reporting on Internet usage via Vocus-provided HA firewalls and reduced excess usage charges using Vocus IP transit.

Scenic networking engineer Curtis Simpson said it was locked in with another supplier for a 50Mbps connection three years ago.

“We had a direct fibre connection of 80 Mbps between our Sydney office and Newcastle. It cost us a lot of money and we had some managed services including our firewall,” said Simpson.

“We went from a 50 Mbps connection to 150 Mbps. We got rid of the direct fibre connection.”

He added that it also had issues with cooling in the server room at the company’s Newcastle office.

Vocus offered a co-location solution where it would take care of the power and the cooling. Another bonus was that its generators could be powered for a year in the advent of a major disaster.

“It turned out to be cheaper to go with Vocus over three years including a cancellation fee from the incumbent provider,” said Simpson.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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