Campbell Arnott's soups up its comms network

Campbell Arnott's has completed the installation of a multimillion-dollar network-based IP Virtual Private Network (VPN).

The IP VPN links sales, distribution, manufacturing, warehousing and administrative operations of the unit of the Campbell Soup Company, throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Under a three-year, $3.96 million contract with AT&T, Campbell Arnott's has also outsourced the management of its network.

The VPN connects 28 locations in the Asia-Pacific and also interconnects with other Campbell's VPN networks throughout Europe and North America.

The network provides Asia-Pacific employees with access to critical business applications residing in the company's Sydney headquarters.

Campbell Arnott's Asia-Pacific CIO Craig Garvin said the network carries live VoIP traffic between several of Campbell Arnott's Australian offices.

"Our regional sites in Asia were challenged for bandwidth," he said.

"Response times accessing our ERP system had generally been slow. By using this service we could prioritize our core business applications over those that were less critical."

By outsourcing network management, Garvin said the company can better utilize internal IT staff for other projects.

He said there was a strong response to its initial call for tender for a new Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network to replace its existing domestic and international Frame Relay networks.

"We were not interested in suppliers who used 'bolt-on' solutions. We also wanted a vendor with a presence in all our key regional locations as well as areas where we are considering expansion," Garvin said adding that Arnott's has just connected its Guangzhou office in China to the network.

"We received many responses, but some of them were patchwork solutions - basically two MPLS vendors with different interconnected solutions for Australia and Asia which wasn't what we wanted.

"Our objective was to achieve a seamless network throughout the region."

Garvin said another key differentiator was flexibility.

"Our environment has some complexities and it was important that the network was architected to meet our requirements. During discussions with other vendors we found that they required us to adapt our requirements to their network."

AT&T 's global MPLS backbone network also has ample capacity and a consistent global network has allowed Arnott's to gain significant cost savings.

AT&T A/NZ managing director Jeyan Jeevaratnam said, "Our global MPLS backbone network has ample capacity and a consistent global network allows Arnott's to gain significant cost savings," he said.

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