Western & Oriental, a tour operator specialising in luxury tailor made holidays, has deployed Viatel’s MPLS access services to create a more flexible way for employees and clients to interact. The new homeworking capabilities allow the company to manage remote users effectively and control systems in a more secure way. The entire MPLS network includes sites in London, Bristol, and Isle of Wight, as well as the homeworkers themselves, plus a third party service used to process bookings.
Western & Oriental offices are open from eight am till eight pm Monday to Friday and weekends also. Obviously staff not reaching home until ten o’clock at night is not desirable and of course travelling time is not productive time, so homeworking offers a flexible and effective solution. Prior to implementation, only one Western & Oriental employee was a dedicated homeworker and was having to rely on a residential broadband circuit. While this was sufficient for basic internet connectivity, when it came to using more advanced applications like voice, the service did not have the quality required. Homeworking across consumer broadband also brought about security and productivity concerns that had to be addressed.
Chris Costin, chief technology officer at Western & Oriental explains: “It became clear that offering a true homeworking solution that included a provision for voice required a managed service. Viatel’s solution made offering homeworking an easy proposition. Our staff can now connect to the company network via a single, secure MPLS network, and since this is not a residential Internet connection, the same security and company wide web policies we have in our offices are now easily applied to homeworkers too. We can log activity, block access to certain websites and keep an eye on security.”
Costin continued: “The deployment of the Viatel solution went smoothly, with the core network up and running within a six to eight week time frame. This in turn has allowed us to get our storage area network installed in London and in Bristol, which we are using as our disaster recovery site. Our staff have been delighted with the system since implementation and the added flexibility it allows them has ensured levels of productivity have risen, with no added security concerns.”
Western & Oriental chose Viatel primarily through recommendation, its reputation as an established communications provider with its own MPLS network and its open attitude toward integrating a variety of different technologies.
Michael Davies, head of product management at Viatel stated: “With the solution deployed, Western & Oriental can now be confident that allowing staff to work from home will not result in the security, productivity or cost issues which homeworking can be associated with. In addition Western & Oriental can now provide clients with the flexible service they desire without employees having to stay late at the office. Viatel is looking forward to a long and productive working relationship with Western & Oriental.”