The retailer has signed a deal to take a fully managed service from Azzurri Communications, covering its mobile communications, local area network, wide area network (WAN) and contact centre.
As part of the deal, Allied is to converge its voice and data networks onto a single MPLS-based infrastructure. The transition from its incumbent providers – BT and O2 – is expected to be completed by October.
Allied Carpets IT controller Ken Moss said that the retailer does not take contracts lasting longer than three years normally, but he has the option to terminate the contract after three years should Azzurri not meet its service promises. However, he doesn’t believe that this will be necessary.
The retailer is moving to a MPLS WAN, which Moss said will have higher bandwidth and better performance than its present network.
He added that once the system is rolled out it can be used to deliver in-store applications, such as IP CCTV and EPoS.
Moss said: “One of the main drivers for moving to the new network was to provide business continuity.
“As well as our Orpington head office, we have another site at Bolton where we want to provide front office recovery. At the moment, 20 per cent of our business is insurance and we have to demonstrate that we have full business continuity recovery for this.”
Allied is also using the change in provider as a chance to re-evaluate the technology it equips its home consultants with. It is testing a couple of mobile devices and, if they prove reliable, Allied will roll them out further.
Moss explained that home consultants will be able to carry out entire transactions in the home, such as completing insurance claims where a customer is choosing replacement flooring.