Travelex, the travellers' cheque and foreign currency exchange giant, has achieved significant savings in network costs by outsourcing its management operations.
Stephen McCarthy, Travelex’s IT director, said the savings represent a fraction of what it would cost to manage the network in-house.
“Outsourcing our network management costs less than 30 per cent of what it would if we did it in-house,” McCarthy said. “We would need to employ people on a 24x7 rostered basis to monitor our network at this level since we can’t afford to have the network offline.”
McCarthy likened the contract to security services in that it is worth paying for monitoring in order to prevent downtime.
“There is no expected ROI for this service other than it is cheaper to get it outsourced,” he said.
Travelex’s network consists of a WAN across Australia, New Zealand, and Japan with Internet and VPN connections. There are 200 locations in Australia and New Zealand with some 1000 users connected.
“Our infrastructure is primarily Cisco,” McCarthhy said. “IP is used for 99 per cent of the network with Frame Relay between Australian capitals as well as Auckland and Christchurch.”
Although Travelex has a corporate policy not to outsource, the company contracted NCR to provide the service, which McCarthy refers to as “strategic outsourcing”.
“We have not outsourced our entire network operations,” he said “They are checking, I’m doing the fixing.”
After evaluating other offerings, Travelex went with NCR because it could offer around-the-clock support and maintenance of the devices.”
“If there are issues with Telstra then NCR will contact it directly,” McCarthy said. “However, if the problem lies within our network, NCR will contact our staff who are on call. NCR is professional, cooperative and knowledgable.”
In addition to providing network monitoring services, NCR helped Travelex design a disaster recovery infrastructure.
“Our aim with the disaster recovery plan was to make our head office independent of the entire network,” McCarthy said. “If the main building fails, the network re-routes through a second building housed by NCR.”