BT wins €3.5m contract to manage NCT network

30 Jul 2010

The company behind Ireland’s National Car Test (NCT) service has awarded BT a €3.5m contract to design, build and manage its nationwide network of 46 local test centres and host IT infrastructure at a data centre in Dublin.

The design and roll out of a multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) network was the first phase in a three-year €3.5m contract, connecting the test centres to the Applus+ head office in Dublin as well as the data centre.

After being awarded a 10-year contract by the Road Safety Authority, Applus+ took over the running of the NCT centres in January this year.

The Spanish multinational had already worked with BT in its home market so there was already some synergy between the two companies that proved invaluable when it came to rolling out a new infrastructure in a new country, in a limited timeframe.

About the BT-Applus+ contract

The contract covers a complete managed service with the core IT infrastructure hosted in the BT data centre. There is a dedicated point-to-point connection between the Applus+ head office and the BT facility. BT was also involved in the procurement and deployment of IT equipment and network infrastructure for each test centre.

“But this deal also typifies the long-term partnership approach that BT cultivates with its customers.”

“The BT managed service allows us to concentrate on our core business of inspecting 800,000 vehicles a year in Ireland, confident that BT will give our company the infrastructure we need to serve our customers, quickly and efficiently,” said Grant Henderson, managing director of Applus+ in Ireland and the UK.

A key requirement of the contract was a business continuity plan that ensured each site would still be up and running in the event of network failure.

Data can be held onsite until the connection is restored. When it’s back online, the regional systems automatically synchronise with the head office. To provide further resilience, BT installed routers for switching over to a 3G network in the event of sustained downtime.

“By rolling out a best-in-class network that is resilient enough to support its mission critical service, we ticked the two boxes that were an immediate priority for Applus+,” said Colm O’Neill, managing director, Business, BT Ireland.

“We were able to understand their entire business requirement and come up with the technology to deliver it. Applus+ depends on business critical connectivity and resilience – BT was able to give them peace of mind,” said O’Neill.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years