Esat BT fuels countrywide comms for Maxol Direct


2 Dec 2003

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Esat BT and BT Northern Ireland have jointly won a contract to supply an all-Ireland data communications infrastructure to fuel distributor Maxol Direct.

Under the deal the companies will build an MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) system that will enable Maxol Direct to connect and centrally control its national network from its Northern Ireland base.

MPLS provides businesses with company-wide connectivity by linking all sites within an organisation. Unlike more traditional networks, MPLS allows for different IP applications to be prioritised across the network, which reduces failures and increases the ability of employees to rapidly access and share critical information either from their office or at home. The MPLS network is an IP virtual private network (IP VPN) that combines the reliability of traditional VPNs such as frame relay and ATM with the speed and functionality of broadband internet. The technology also offers a converged network that works with any kind of access technology, removing the need for a leased line to take advantage of MPLS.

The technology has so far given Maxol greater control over its IT administration and facilitates the addition of further key sites, said Maxol’s systems manager, Sean O’Connor.

“MPLS allows for centralised control and administration of the essential elements of the business. For instance, all of the remote sites work from the same database and the same system, so that at a touch of a button our managers can see the sales performances of each site,” said O’Connor.

As a result of its 2002 acquisition of Limerick-based Estuary Fuels, Maxol Direct had a number of sites in the Republic of Ireland that it needed to integrate into its network. As a result of the MPLS project, five further sites have been added to the network and the company plans to add a further three sites to its network over the coming months.

Esat BT CEO Bill Murphy commented: “MPLS will give Maxol Direct cheaper access to local access nodes and is future-proof, which means that adding further sites to the network is a relatively simple and cost-effective process. This is a real all-Ireland partnership and demonstrates the unique abilities of Esat BT and BT NI to deliver a seamless service to companies with sites across the island of Ireland. We are consistently winning business due to our already proven capability of providing a successful all-Island offering.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Sean O’Connor (left) systems manager, Maxol Direct with Esat BT CEO Bill Murphy