G4S, a global leader in the provision of safety and security solutions and specialist provider of cash security solutions for the banking and retail sector, relies heavily on being able to accurately manage all of its Cash In Transit (CIT) from the customer to the bank. The CIT management service forms part of a global cloud solution, which requires maximum uptime in terms of connectivity, with high speeds, low latency and full redundancy. When looking to improve their network while reducing the cost of this service, G4S South Africa turned to XDSL , a local Internet Service Provider (ISP), to manage data lines and deliver their Xtreme MPLS solution.
“We work in a fast-paced environment which requires our systems to be up and running at all times. In order to keep operations running efficiently, we required a network designed for full redundancy on all sites, which also provides fast throughput and high capacity along with low latency”, says Riaan Willemse, National IT and Control Centre Manager at G4S Cash Solutions South Africa
“The major ISPs were unable to provide us with the solution we required, as we were not simply looking to lease lines but needed a fully outsourced and managed network solution. XDSL not only offered a complete solution, their pricing is also exceptional, allowing us to take advantage of improved speed, capacity, reliability and affordability,” he adds.
The Xtreme MPLS solution from XDSL provides a Virtual Private Network (VPN) over a shared IP network, using a combination of fibre, Diginet, ADSL and 3G. At each of the G4S branches, XDSL provides a Diginet line as well as two ADSL lines, with a managed IP Connect bundle for data and cloud services and a 3G managed APN network. Each of these four access links offer automatic failover, with specified priorities for traffic set at the router. XDSL also provides proactive monitoring, traffic engineering and full support. Network abuse and malware infections are proactively detected and dealt with before they can cause downtime or other issues.
“As with any implementation of this magnitude, there were some challenges faced at G4S. Firstly we were required to consolidate two separate networks, one for security and the other for corporate, and move all equipment from various locations at each branch to a central location. There was also a lot of legacy equipment at the branches which was not being used, which had to be removed from the cabinets to make room for the Xtreme MPLS solution. The existing security network was also poorly designed, so we had to ensure that the new installation was up to best practice standards. Working on a very tight deadline increased the challenge, however everything was completed without major problems,” explains Danie Fourie, Director at XDSL.
The implementation took a phased approach beginning in June, with phase two running from July to September. The forecasted 12-month project was completed within five months, ahead of schedule, delivering a stable, high-speed network with full failover and redundancy capabilities. G4S is already seeing the benefits of their new network solution.
“The solution is working extremely well, and one of the major benefits we have seen is that the failover works so seamlessly that branches do not even notice when a line goes down. The solution has also changed the culture within the company somewhat. Where previously, if our connectivity failed and we had to switch over to manual processes, it was taken as par for the course. Now, however, users are accustomed to a high-speed stable network and notice immediately if the speed drops, reporting these issues before manual processes even become necessary,” says Willemse.
Through XDSL’s own data centre as well as presence in three other data centres nationally, G4S can now benefit from a 24-hour national operations centre that monitors quality of service and delivers this critical auto-failover technology. Other benefits include active reporting, notifications on excessive traffic utilisation, measurement of 3G signal quality and an integrated escalation procedure in line with G4S IT policy. The company is also assured of Quality of Service (QoS), traffic prioritisation, no single points of failure and the benefits of a dedicated Internet offering, which include access to hosted PBX, VoIP, other hosted services and a variety of cloud solutions.
“Working with XDSL has ensured that we have access not only to the network solutions we require at an exceptional price, it also ensures that we get the best possible service. XDSL delivers their solution seamlessly while working in close collaboration with our other service providers including IT support, providing the solutions and problem resolution we require to keep our network and IT infrastructure up and running at all times. We are extremely pleased with their solution and service levels,” Willemse concludes.