Reed Recruitment has extended a contract with Azzurri Communications for the provision of a network and telecoms managed service.

Under the multi-million pound, five-year contract, Azzurri will be providing services for the company’s 3,000 employees at 250 sites across the UK.

Reed will consolidate more than 270 different telephone systems onto one, centralised IP telephony system. This involves replacing Reed’s existing 5,500 ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and PTSN (Public Switched Telephone Network) lines with 1,500 SIP trunks, which will support more than five million voice calls a year.

Employees will be able to hot-desk more easily with the new IP telephony system. Staff can already log into Reed’s computer system and access Citrix applications from any site, and the Azzurri network will also enable them to receive calls from any location.

Rather than focusing on the technical requirements of the new network, Reed wanted a supplier that would fulfil its business requirements.

Sean Whetstone, head of IT services for Reed, said: “We believe the current network monitoring model is broken, with too much emphasis on simply meeting technical criteria.

“So instead of monitoring in terms of latency, jitter and packet loss, we wanted to ensure the health of our business applications could be measured and alerted based on the end user’s experience.”

To monitor the network’s performance, Reed is deploying Azzurri’s Intelligent Cloud-Optimised Network (ICON), which has a graphical dashboard front end that gives Whetstone a real-time view of application and service performance across Reed’s servers, databases, desktop clients and applications.

If the performance of the networks drops below the requirement specified in the company’s service level agreement (SLA) with the supplier, a support ticket is automatically sent to Azzurri to attend to the problem. If Azzurri fails to address the problem as agreed in the SLA, it risks receiving a financial penalty.

Azzurri is also delivering a 10GB backhaul network under the contract, which Whetstone said was a 10-fold increase in bandwidth for a 20 percent reduction in price.

While Reed does not currently have plans to roll out any multi-media strategies across the company, he is reassured that the capacity is available if he needs it in the future.

“Having the infrastructure that’s there gives me possibilities,” said Whetstone.

The network has so far been rolled out to more than 10 sites, and deployment to the remaining sites is ongoing.

This is the third contract renewal between Reed and Azzurri, which first signed up to use Azzurri’s services in 2003.