MARKS & SPENCER FIRST IN UK TO BENEFIT FROM CABLE & WIRELESS COMPANY-WIDE IP-VPN NETWORK Monday 5 March 2001 PDF Print Customers benefit from faster response times UK stores benefit from thirty-fold increase in network capacity Cable & Wireless, the global telecommunications group and Marks & Spencer, the international retailer, announced today (5 March 2001) the successful installation of a Cable & Wireless IP-VPN network (Internet Protocol virtual private network), producing faster payment times for Marks & Spencer customers and more efficient communications across the company. Marks & Spencer is the first UK corporation to benefit from Cable & Wireless' new internet-based secure quality of service (QoS)-enabled private network introduced in December last year. The new network, with a thirty-fold increase in capacity, has allowed Marks & Spencer to safeguard its business-critical internet technology (IT) systems and offer leading standards of customer service to the high street, including faster till throughput and in-store IT operations. The 130-site migration marks the first stage of a 300 plus site company-wide migration to be completed by the end of Spring 2001. The stores involved in the first phase of the development report that they have already experienced a marked improvement in the response times of customer-facing systems, such as payment processing and customer ordering, as well as stock ticketing, email and personnel management systems. "By using Cable & Wireless' cutting-edge technology, we are fulfilling our ongoing mission to deliver leading standards to the high street," said Adrian Pratt, Technical Consultant, Marks & Spencer. "Although we had already increased network capacity on our legacy infrastructure by ten fold, we recognised early last year that we needed a new network to fully support the business through Christmas 2000 and into the future. "After completing a competitive tender process, we chose Cable & Wireless as they offered the most innovative product design at a cost-effective price. It is a perfect fit with Marks & Spencer's forward-looking strategy and supports the dynamics of our business restructuring. The increased capacity on the new network also means that we will be able to take advantage of innovative voice and video technology in the near future. "This high profile project places Cable & Wireless and Marks & Spencer at the forefront of leading-edge IP-VPN technology," added Ian Fowler, Director, Commercial Solutions, Client Solutions Division, Cable & Wireless. "We have worked with Marks & Spencer to develop a tailored IP networking solution to meet their unique requirements, and the benefits have been immediate on their sales floor." "Today's organisations require secure business communications using networks that can expand in line with the business, and are independent of geographical location. The Cable & Wireless state-of-the-art IP-VPN is designed to meet precisely these needs. It provides businesses with enterprise-class network connectivity for their mission-critical applications, as well as management of their continuously expanding network." Cable & Wireless now offers IP-VPN solutions in 22 countries and expects to deliver next generation IP-VPN services in 80 countries over the next 12 months. The product is part of the company's product strategy to deliver uniform IP-based communications solutions across the globe to business customers. About Cable & Wireless Cable & Wireless is a major global telecommunications business with revenue of over £9 billion (US$14 billion) in the year to 31 March 2000 and customers in 70 countries. Its operations around the world offer a full range of telecommunications services. Cable & Wireless' focus for future growth is on IP (Internet protocol) and data services and solutions for business customers. It is developing advanced IP networks and value-added services in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in support of this strategy. With the capability of its global IP infrastructure and its strength in key markets, Cable & Wireless holds a unique position in terms of global coverage and services to business customers. For more information about Cable & Wireless, go to www.cw.com. About Marks & Spencer Marks & Spencer is an international retailer with 709 locations across 32 countries. The chief market is the UK where the company sells through 297 stores, representing over 12 million square feet of retail footage, and through mail order and e -commerce operations. In the United States the company owns the clothing retailer Brooks Brothers and Kings Super Markets. The Group is structured into 5 parts: UK Retail, Overseas Retail, Financial Services, Property and Ventures and employs a total of 75,000 people worldwide. In 1999/2000 Group turnover was £8.2bn and profits before tax and exceptional items was £557.2m. http://www.marksandspencer.com For further information, please contact: Nicola March, Cable & Wireless 0207 315 4031 firstname.lastname@example.org Henrietta Valder/Sarah Richardson, Brodeur Worldwide 01753 790700 email@example.com Adrian Pratt, Technical Consultant, Marks & Spencer 0207 268 5022 firstname.lastname@example.org This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pleon in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.