Throughout 2009 Virgin Media invested in technology for its customers, as a supplier of mobile/broadband communications and entertainment services, as well as on its internal technology, most notably in the build-out of its 50Mbits per second cable network.
That speed ups the ante in the domestic/small business broadband stakes and will help US-domiciled Virgin in the battle against other ISPs, especially those like BT offering multi-play offerings. Although a relatively new brand in the sector, Virgin Media was built on pioneering broadband service providers including NTL and Telewest.
During 2008, Virgin completed the integration of its customer care and billing systems and migrated half a million customer records onto the main customer care and billing system. This programme, along with other IT consolidation projects, means the company has been able to decommission a range of applications and platforms and in doing so reduce the number of contracts it has with consultants.
Its broadband service was both named the UK's fastest home broadband ISP, but also received significant investment as the company worked with Nortel to upgrade a submarine cable between Ireland and the UK. Virgin Media also aligned itself with BSkyB and Channel 4 to work closely in the fight against media piracy.
Recent additions to Virgin's IT portfolio include the deployment of Zeus, a software-only application delivery controller designed to ensure a robust service for Virgin's four million customers. The Zeus code will also be used to support a new email system Virgin is due to introduce by July.
Alex Brown, senior product manager, Internet Products at Virgin Media, said in a press release:
"Virgin Media faced a number of technical challenges that Zeus has helped us overcome. We wanted to offer customers better email and web services but at the same time ensure we can deliver them without impacting service levels or compromising security. In March 2010,
Another addition that came as part of anetwork resilience refresh was a stronger firewall provided by Tufin Technologies and Nebulas Solutions Group.
Virgin Media announced late in 2009 that it plans to offer the Tivo PVR service in the UK from 2010. It is also lobbying hard against the multi-broadcaster Project Canvas web-based catch-up TV service. In March 2010, CEO Neil Berkett called a BBC Trist review a "shameless whitewash".