Coral Betting on BT

BT has announced a £7.1 million, five-year contract with leading betting and gaming operator Coral to supply a high-bandwidth managed network to its 1268 branches throughout the UK. The deployment will replace a number of existing communications networks, significantly reducing costs and providing increased bandwidth and management control to support future growth. Under the terms of the agreement, BT will roll out an ADSL network connecting Coral’s betting offices to BT’s IP Clear solution.

Coral selected BT’s MPLS-based IP Clear solution in July, following a strategic review of its retail infrastructure. The review concluded that Coral’s narrowband infrastructure was no longer able to cope with increasing levels of traffic and lacked the flexibility needed to support deployments of new functionality and applications.

Coral’s IT support and infrastructure manager, Neil McCrossen commented: “Information is the lifeblood of Coral. Time-critical, simultaneous data delivery to our 1,268 branches is key to delivering the high levels of service our customers have come to expect. To ensure our continued success and future growth, we’re looking for a flexible and scalable converged network, which will allow us to communicate with our staff, suppliers and customers.”

The BT MPLS infrastructure will also enable Coral to greatly reduce the time to market for new products and services without compromising the high levels of availability and quality demanded by the company’s operations.

“While only recently deployed, the new infrastructure has already started delivering cost savings against the legacy infrastructure. With a consolidated network, we will now be able to overlay new business services and multimedia applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP), which previously would not have been cost effective due to high infrastructure costs,” said McCrossen. “Also, as part of its managed service layer, BT is available 24/7/365 to help ensure that the network is always running smoothly,” added Mr McCrossen.

Gary Bullard, managing director, UK, BT Global Services, said: “In today’s competitive business environment the demands and pressures on organisations are continually increasing. In the digital networked economy, convergence provides businesses with increased flexibility and manageability vital for successful business communication. Coral was looking for a technology partner who had the experience and the resources to provide it with a reliable converged network. BT’s approach provides the right level of flexibility without compromising the process or cost effectiveness, essential in delivering high levels of service and availability.”
BT is currently rolling out the solution to Coral’s entire branch network. The deployment is expected to be complete by February 2006.