3i Selects COLT To Provide Pan-European Network

3i, Europe’s leading private equity and venture capital company has selected COLT as the sole provider of its pan-European data network. COLT will provide 3i with a fully-managed, 23-site network – covering the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland – in a deal worth £1.6 million (€2.4 million) over three years.

COLT say 3i will gain significant savings by rationalising the number of suppliers. Through moving to COLT’s advanced IP network the organisation will reduce the cost of connectivity and management overheads, and also achieve operational efficiencies as a result of the increased reliability this type of network brings.

John Tracey, head of Information Systems at 3i, said: “We believe that the scale of our international network of investment professionals sets us apart from the competition – it means we have the right talent, experience and relationships needed to deliver even the most challenging deals. It is therefore essential that we have the right communications infrastructure underpinning our team. COLT’s advanced network across Europe, as well as its understanding of our business requirements and the need to translate them into commercial benefits, were the key factors in giving this critical contract to COLT. We are looking forward to reaping the rewards of a fully managed network service.”

COLT has replaced 3i’s legacy combination of ATM and bridged leased lines with an MPLS-based IP VPN network. As a result of using MPLS, 3i’s network now delivers: faster communication speeds; improved scalability; increased resiliency and recovery; more flexibility; greater integration with IP resources; and is more cost-effective than the previous mixture of technologies. The network also incorporates classes of service (CoS) enabling enhanced traffic prioritisation and therefore improved availability of 3i’s business-critical applications. The new network also enables 3i to manage its business applications, such as Microsoft Office and Exchange, from its key sites in the UK but allows them to be accessed seamlessly from across Europe by supporting a thin-client, CITRIX-based application.

Tim Wort, managing director of COLT in the UK, said: “3i’s decision to appoint COLT as its sole supplier of network capability across Europe endorses our position as the leading pan-European network provider for financial services customers. Our fully owned network infrastructure is highly flexible, responsive and reliable and can really have a positive impact on business performance.”

The solution also incorporates a secondary back-up network including a mixture of MPLS and DSL technology, and an Ethernet point-to-point back-up network also connects 3i’s London and Birmingham sites.

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