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Many multi-national enterprises are struggling to maintain consistent global network performance in the face of an increasingly complex web of different network types from multiple providers. They want to provide a high quality communications experience irrespective of where applications are based or accessed. Underpinning this, they want to have confidence in an integrated network infrastructure that is reliable and secure, simpler to manage, cost-effective and future-proof.

This is quite a shopping list. In looking to respond positively, it’s perhaps not surprising that more than 80% of Vodafone Global Enterprise customers are looking to invest in cloud-based Unified Communications over the next two years, as they see the transformational benefits in productivity and operational cost that global collaboration between teams can bring.

Yet whether or not Unified Communications has hit the corporate agenda, the network has to be able to grow and flex with the business. Vodafone’s IP VPN solution now makes this possible, by delivering the reliability, cost-efficiency and agility required.

With the acquisition of Cable & Wireless, the Vodafone solution now extends to over 150 countries across the globe. It allows the business to converge all sites on its wide area network (WAN) onto a single, secure and resilient IP VPN. It connects users to a fast and seamless data network in a way that will support both today’s and tomorrow’s global communications strategy.

To ensure maximum effectiveness, Vodafone’s IP VPN can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual enterprise. These include a range of router types, which can be managed and maintained on behalf of the business, together with a number of access and scalable bandwidth options. Intelligent class of service and WAN optimisation features ensure that business-critical applications perform effectively at all times.

Just as business continuity and maximum site availability require resilient backup and access, it is equally essential to continually monitor how the network and enterprise applications are performing. We offer different levels of network reporting, in order to align appropriately with the business’s broader objectives.

Personalisation of the Vodafone IP VPN offering extends to the number of sites the business operates and their typical bandwidth requirements. This ranges from download speeds of up to 80Mbps for smaller sites with lower bandwidth needs, to a flexible Fibre Ethernet service with upload and download speeds of 1Gbps and 10Gbps for the largest and most bandwidth-hungry sites in the network. This is supported by an SLA which ensures the highest level of service for each enterprise’s most mission-critical sites.

Choosing the best option within the available budget will depend on a number of factors, from the type of applications the network needs to support and how they should be prioritised to the level of SLA required.

This sounds fine in theory, but how does it work in practice? For one major insurance company, implementing the Vodafone IP VPN has enabled the consolidation of 12 legacy data networks, each with its own support model, into one. And, by putting in place a platform enabling future services such as IP telephony, the business has already achieved a 90% reduction in operational downtime.

This shows how effective network integration can deliver real-world benefits in cost, performance and service, at the same time providing the essential base for truly seamless global operations. As a result, communications becomes an enabler, rather than a barrier, to a competitive business strategy.

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