Sinclair Knight Merz signs up for IP VPN

Professional services firm Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) has implemented an IP virtual private network (VPN) as part of a four-year $US2.8 million deal with AT&T.

With more than 40 offices across Australia, Asia and the UK, John Miller, SKM IS technology manager, said the deal lets staff in 18 of the larger offices collaborate more effectively in virtual teams.

He said the focus was on adding more flexibility and intelligence to the network to allow the company to expand into new markets.

"Project-based applications were the lifeblood of the company and the new meshed network provides more efficient access for staff outside of the network hub in Sydney; previously we had a frame relay network in a hub-and-spoke configuration," Miller said.

The AT&T Enhanced VPN Service is an IP VPN solution provided via Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) standards over its global network.

The service prioritizes critical traffic so limited bandwidth doesn't compromise access to corporate applications and databases.

Since moving to the service, Miller said, SKM has seen a 30 percent improvement in network performance.

"Previously we would have weekly calls from various sites complaining about network performance, speed of access to applications, time-outs and dropouts, but since we put this network in, most of the problems have gone," Miller said.