Rethink Utilises Zen for Next Generation IP VPN

Rethink, a national mental health membership charity, has deployed an IP Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) solution from Zen Internet to securely share information and applications between offices and remote workers.

The IP VPN solution has enabled video conferencing to be fully deployed between the company’s 7 main offices and has already saved Rethink £100,000 in travel costs. They hope to double this in the next 3 years.

‘With seven main offices and 250 service locations Rethink needed secure and reliable access to critical applications and a network that was fully managed and capable of handling delay sensitive multimedia traffic. A key requirement was a network that could support video conferencing, which would allow employees to work more efficiently and reduce time and costs associated with travelling,’ explained Andrew Saunders, Head of Product Management and Marketing, Zen Internet.

Using a combination of 100Mbps and 10Mbps Ethernet circuits, Zen connected Rethink’s 7 core office locations into an IP VPN solution that offered complete security for inter-site traffic and provided the platform for deploying their video conferencing solution. Zen’s Quality of Service (QoS) feature ensured bandwidth was reserved for Rethink’s Video Conferencing application. This new application aware network made the deployment of this advanced technology possible.

A second IP VPN solution was deployed to provide a private network for Rethink’s service locations ensuring that the 2 networks were segregated to offer additional security and easier administration. Each of the 53 service sites were connected into the network using Zen’s award winning business broadband connectivity.

‘I was extremely impressed with the professionalism and planning of the IP VPN and specifically the design and implementation of QoS to support our video conferencing requirements. Any downtime was planned, over weekends and was communicated and accepted by Rethink in advance’, said Donovan Naidoo, Associated Director of ICT, Rethink.

As well as driving down travelling costs the new collaboration technology also improved productivity as Rethink can now hold virtual meetings with geographically dispersed employees at short notice. The new technology also had a positive impact on the environment reducing Rethink’s overall transport emissions and has also helped provide a better work/life balance for their employees with less travelling and overnight stays.

Having deployed a real-time video conferencing solution Rethink is now considering using Zen’s Quality of Service feature to introduce Voice over IP (VoIP) to the IP VPN.

‘The UK’s recent poor weather is just one of the reasons companies like Rethink are looking to implement QoS enabled IP VPN’s that support video conferencing and enable employees to work more efficiently whilst reducing the time and costs associated with travelling.’ said Saunders.

‘Zen’s IP VPN solution enables the convergence of voice, video and data into one easy to manage multi-service network helping to reduce the total cost of ownership. It also provides our customers with the confidence to deploy new applications safe in the knowledge that their Wide Area Network will be specifically designed to support the service.’

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