Delegats signs with AT&T as network partner

Delegats signs with AT&T as network partner

CIO Wilson Alley cites global telco's reach as the reason for picking AT&T

Wine maker Delegats has signed with AT&T as its network partner, connecting 12 locations in New Zealand via wide area network (WAN) services and eight sales offices overseas with virtual private network services. Prior to the deal, Delegats data networks were managed by several different companies, resulting in higher latency and complications in managing different network infrastructure and specifications, according to an AT&T announcement.

AT&T won the contract following an RFP process. Delegats CIO Wilson Alley cites AT&T’s global reach as a reason for selecting the telco.

“A&T provides unmatched strengths in its network communications, to meet our growth ambitions internationally,” he says.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

Delegats – whose most well-known brand is Oyster Bay – is the largest New Zealand-owned wine maker and a public company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange with global sales offices in New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Ireland.

"Following a recent WAN review project, they identified an opportunity to improve WAN performance and drive efficiencies by consolidating to a single provider,” says Fred Girouard, AT&T Australia and New Zealand managing director.

Girouard, who is based in Melbourne, now heads up AT&T’s Australasian operation, following the retirement of Roger Payne who was the company’s New Zealand general manager.

Payne was involved in the negotiations for the Delegats deal and also a recent contract with construction firm Beca.

Computerworld is currently visiting AT&T’s Global Network Operations Centre (GNOC) as part of an Asia Pacific media tour. The GNOC monitors around 30 petabytes of traffic on its “backbone” (international and national backhaul).

At the centre’s hub is a large room featuring 141 wallboards that provide a high level view of the cable systems owned – or part-owned - by AT&T. Among the monitoring tools is the Worldwide IP Performance board, which is a simulation of the actual network, and which highlights potential issues with cable systems before they are likely to occur.

If a cable fault is detected, traffic may be routed via a different cable system, to avoid latency problems that could impact on AT&T’s service level agreements

Other tools include a monitor which checks Twitter for tweets from customers complaining about AT&T service, and a view of “public internet” activity which is divided into web searches and their results, business services and infrastructure services. The traffic is assessed based on predicted patterns of behaviour, for example today’s (Wednesday) activity is measured against the traffic flows of other Wednesdays. If an unexpected spike in traffic occurs, this could mean hacking activity and AT&T staff at the control centre will drill down to see if this is impacting on AT&T’s network.

In addition there are three displays showing television channels – CNN, Fox News and a weather channel. The volume is turned down, but if both news channels feature similar footage of an event it is an indication that the network could be affected. AT&T first detected an issue following the tsunami in Japan last year when technicians noticed a cable was being overloaded by phone calls and texts to Tokyo.

Putt travelled to New Jersey as a guest of AT&T.

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