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Case Study: A tailor-made VoIP system

Bespoke men's tailors implements hosted IP voice and MPLS.

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When bespoke men's tailor Gieves and Hawkes moved its 25 UK outlets over to IP telephony, it also converged not two but three services onto a single new MPLS connection.

The company, one of the country's oldest tailors, had been using leased lines for data and two separate suppliers - BT, and Cable & Wireless - for voice calls. A move to IP telephony was an obvious next step, according to its IT team and its financial director, David Collins.

"Our brand is our business, so by simultaneously future proofing and streamlining our network, we can ensure that we stay ahead of the pack and reduce our costs at the same time," he said. "Using one provider for all of our networking needs, and implementing VoIP at the same time is the perfect solution for us."

As well as its well known address at No. 1 Savile Row, London, Gieves and Hawkes has administrative offices in Esher, wholesale and overseas businesses, and stores including a flagship location for its Gieves brand in Knightbridge's Sloane Square. It employs around 160 people and turns over some £20 million a year.

The two main offices were linked by a leased line from Easynet, but the company realised that not only could it save money by replacing this, but converging its voice and data would bring yet more savings. In addition, replacing three suppliers with just one would simplify fault-reporting.

Rather that run its own IP telephony, it decided to take the hosted route, inviting pitches from both BT and Viatel, and eventually picking the latter's hosted IP voice service.


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