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The Network Union

A three time award winning Authorised Partner of BT. Global and UK WAN Provider Services.

BT PARTNER OF THE YEAR 2017

The Network Union is recognised by BT as one of their leading top five Authorised Partner agencies. We're currently Partner of the Year 2016/17 recognised for our work across connectivity.

We design, propose and price BT Managed WAN services for Global or UK large Enterprise and SME business.

WE ARE A FULL-SERVICE, MULTI-AWARD-WINNING, BT GLOBAL AND UK WAN SERVICE PROVIDER, A GROUP OF HIGHLY-SKILLED AND DEDICATED INDIVIDUALS

Our team work to help businesses like yours with the design, proposal, and pricing of BT MPLS, VPLS, DM-VPN and SD-WAN data solutions / connectivity. Often, a hybrid design of connectivity incorporates security and Cloud capabilities.

Available for download, our managed WAN sales process has been converted into a guide. As winners of the BT award for innovation, we assist IT teams with WAN provider procurement.

Got a project? We'll analyse your existing situation, application flow, and challenges while making recommendations on how and where improvements could be leveraged using available products and solutions to build capability.

The Network Union is aligned with BT as one of their top five authorised partners. Currently, as BT Partner of the Year for 2016/17, we are recognised for our work across their WAN services portfolio.

We’ve created a step-by-step process to align your next WAN with the best possible capability. By operating in excess of 25 touch points, the workflow aligns the specifics of your organisation to the BT product set.

Permira, CDC Global, Russell Finex, British Legion, Medivet, and Tilney Best Invest are just a few of the companies we work with today. Our workflows are available to organisations from those with only three sites to large enterprise businesses with well over one hundred global branch locations.

Rated as excellent, our free WAN technology and procurement workshop. Hosted at your office. 

Start with a workshop. Invite techtarget.com writer and global WAN procurement expert Robert Sturt to your office for free. Armed with a whiteboard and pen, Robert Sturt will walk you through design scenarios and the latest technologies, including SD-WAN, MPLS vs. VPLS, application performance, diversity / resiliency, and statistical analysis.

Got a WAN project? Learn how we work.

NETWORK UNION WAN DESIGN IS BASED ON FOUR CENTRAL PILLARS

  • Minimise risk - Successful WAN design, proposal, and pricing requires building an understanding of the associated risks, pitfalls, and opportunities that encompass your technical needs, strategy, and budget. Network Union won the BT Award for Innovation, which can be directly attributed to our all-encompassing pre-sales Enterprise managed WAN Architecture workflows including WAN, Security, and Cloud. The process our team uses is now the basis of a guide, available as a free download. Our technical account managers are all trained using the same WAN procurement workflows applied to every prospect and existing client we work with on an ongoing basis. By focusing on the key WAN design areas we know to be important, we’re able to minimise the potential risks to your business but also maximise the opportunities.The result is often a hybrid design consisting of the right product vs. your business, perhaps layer 3 MPLS, layer 2 VPLS, ethernet point-to-point/multipoint, and SD-WAN provider services.

  • Deliver a design Documenting successful WAN requirements is nothing if the detail is lost in translation. Our technical account managers work closely with dedicated BT resources including sales specialists, technical design authority, and project management to transfer pre-sales knowledge. The team is interconnected by collaboration tools ensuring efficient communication exists throughout the complete end-to-end delivery process.

  • Learn and improve We’re always learning based on experience and current conditions. We know, for example, the requirements for certain applications or the challenges of delivering global WAN circuits. Whenever we work on a project, our team always adds to our sales workflows to further enhance your WAN design experience. Learning is also an iterative process as we gain experience working together over the contract term.

  • Ongoing resources Statistical analysis, SLA breach reports, and new products and services are all key data points covered in our ongoing service review meetings. The sessions create an opportunity to voice concerns, discuss new projects, and make changes with improvements where required. With insights gained through analysis of data, we make recommendations to improve design and application performance, or advise on where new products may add a competitive edge to your business.


 

THE BEGINNING - START WITH A WAN PROVIDERS WORKSHOP 

We have conducted the free Art of WAN procurement workshop for multiple organisations. The sessions are not only an ideal way to gain 3rd-party insight into your current challenges, but also a great way to upskill your team on how to conduct a managed Global or UK WAN procurement project.

We cover technology, risks, pitfalls, and opportunities, together with design scenarios intended to help provide an idea of what is and isn't possible: SD-WAN, MPLS vs. VPLS QoS (Quality of Service), Resilience, Diversity, Application Performance, Security, Cloud, Big Data, and more.

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  • What do we want to achieve?
  • What do we think is possible?
  • What do we need to do to achieve our goals?
  • How do we integrate cloud and security?
  • Does our existing WAN provider align with the company strategy?
  • When should we react to new opportunities and adapt plans?
  • What budget is available?
  • How are we going to get there?
  • What are the challenges right now and how do we prioritise solving problems?
  • What other initiatives do we need to consider – i.e. environmental initiatives?

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CURRENT SITUATION

Using defined subject headings, we’ll build a mindmap of your current business strategy, projects, and existing situation in relation to existing WAN providers. The data gained from analysis allows us to create a picture of current challenges.

Armed with the report, we’re able to clearly identify where frustrations exist, the areas of your existing solutions that represent a bottleneck to the business, and the areas where the WAN provides a competitive advantage.

Consider how technology solves problems.

Aligning technology to your unique user profiles creates a statement of requirements. Traditional IT operates within a silo approach where particular departments function as their own autonomous business. With careful analysis of user application and data flow, design surrounds an overall architecture to meet the business requirements of the company as a whole.

The availability of solutions is a given, but creating a capability out of each product is the challenge. Our approach is to document user profiles to understand how each employee, extranet client, or partner utilises the existing WAN infrastructure. The use of data and Internet today may not be the most optimum if the WAN or IT processes act as a bottleneck to productivity. With this in mind, we look to recommend where improvements are possible.

The following sections detail WAN services and solutions. Our design workflows will also take into account other services, including security, cloud, voice, and telephony.

Depending on your business size, the majority of WAN services we create are based on hybrid connectivity. With Cloud security and remote working at the core of most business processes, selecting the right technology is based on analysis.

Below. Our sales process displayed on an iPhone.

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GLOBAL AND UK, BT, VPLS, MPLS WAN

  • Layer 3 routed capability, or transparently extend your LAN via layer 2 services
  • Available for UK and on an international basis
  • Private based WAN, no added encryption or overlay security required
  • End-to-end 6 QoS (quality of service) settings for total traffic prioritisation
  • Access to Cloud resources, such as MS Azure
  • SLA, which covers latency, jitter, and uptime
  • Managed or wires-only options * Available with Cisco managed edge devices











BT, MPLS, and VPLS are recognised by IT teams as a tried and trusted data service with one of the most well-scaled and respected networks in the industry. VPLS and MPLS network technologies are still the only WAN services & products capable of offering end-to-end QoS (quality of service) with service-level agreements, offering up predictable traffic performance across the UK, as well as global latency, jitter, and uptime. It is an ideal way to leverage delay-sensitive applications such as voice and video.

With inherent, inbuilt security, any-to-any connectivity and global availability, the product is a must in selected scenarios. Hybrid design often results in a multitude of products vs. your requirements. The properties of MPLS VPN form infrastructures for the majority of leading businesses.

VLL OR SHORT HAUL POINT-TO-POINT AND MULTIPOINT ETHERNET

  • Available in the UK and International basis
  • Use short haul for relatively local LAN extension requirements and VLL (Virtual Leased Line Ethernet) to emulate point-to-point or multipoint over greater distances
  • SLA covering latency and uptime
  • Wires only option, connect directly to your layer 2 devices

Short Haul, or SHDS, provides significant latency and security via dedicated 100 Mb/s, 1 Gb/s, or 10 Gb/s optical services. The downside is distance; SHDS is only available to locations that are a particular radial distance apart.

Where distance limitations mean short haul dedicated fibre products are not feasible, BT offers VLL (Virtual Leased Line) services across the globe using their global MPLS core network. While traffic performance and latency are slightly lower vs. SHDS, flexibility and availability across the globe result in its being a great component of your WAN strategy.

THE UK AND GLOBAL INTERNET-BASED DM-VPN

  • Easily leverage the full BT Internet product portfolio, including Broadband, EFM, GEA, 3G/4G, and Ethernet BTNet leased line services
  • An easy way to connect any device capable of running a Cisco VPN client including Android, iOS, and Windows, it is ideal for remote access
  • BT Internet products operate with full SLA to ensure predictable performance


DM-VPN is often a part of hybrid networking via software clients or dedicated Cisco hardware. Where MPLS, VPLS, or even SD-WAN are not appropriate, creating a simple DM-VPN often creates a low-cost, uncomplicated component of the design.

With the advance of 3G, 4G, and broadband speeds, creating an IPSec VPN will result in fast start and failover capability. Where contracts require short-term connectivity, leveraging an Internet VPN to deploy services in a matter of days meets certain business requirements head on.

Outside of design scenarios and where the budget is of key importance, a complete DM-VPN design will result in product flexibility with a relatively low-cost base.

SD-WAN (SDN)

  • Available using Cisco iWAN as the BT provider of choice
  • SD-WAN provides the ultimate in flexibility, a single device for every requirement
  • Lower costs with iWAN’s support for any interface type use the most cost-effective bandwidth vs. requirements
  • BT Global and UK public IP services offer a predictable backbone to ensure optimal traffic performance

BT partners with Cisco iWAN to deliver global SD-WAN services. The BT SDN offering is fully integrated into BT systems, meaning the service isn’t a simple resale of edge iWAN devices, and the capability is fully managed and implemented on an end-to-end basis.

The product, called Connect Intelligence IWAN, offers security and resiliency based on dynamic, intelligent path selection and is available with hybrid connectivity. The complete SD-WAN service is fully monitored with comprehensive statistics.

iWAN is a transport agnostic VPN enabling the delivery of applications such as MPLS, Internet, Satellite, or 4G. It allows you to utilize the cost savings of moving to a hybrid WAN services.

SECURITY

  • Available using cloud- or on-premise-based Cisco, Check Point, Juniper, or Palo Alto devices
  • DDOS (Denial of Service) products available regardless of security providers
  • Content filtering services with email virus scanning
  • Consultancy services with penetration testing

Edge and interior security have always been important, but, today, how your data and intellectual property are protected is of critical importance. Within the design, we'll apply knowledge to understand both your user profile and your business's risk from denials of service and data loss. Our experience extends to external partnerships where we are required to bring in expertise for subjects such as PCI/DSS compliance.

CLOUD SERVICES

  • Access to multiple cloud providers, including SIP via Cloud Voice and MS Azure
  • BT Compute IaaS
  • BT Private Cloud
  • Office 365 Integration
  • Customer self-service portals 

Almost all designs require access to public and private cloud resources, including products such as Microsoft Azure, Voice, Video, CRM, Data Storage, and more. How we architect the design of your data network is dependent on understanding application flow and where users access the majority of their data. This may require private cloud infrastructure for some scenarios and public cloud infrastructure for others, but more often than not a combination of the two.

HOSTING

  • Global data centre locations
  • Available with either full management or simple rack and power
  • Design and implementation services are available
  • Back-to-back connectivity options, including 3rd-party for BGP multihoming

Where managed or unmanaged hosting facilities are required, multiple options exist across tier 3 and 4 data centre locations. Services include CDN (Content Distribution Networking), Security, and Diversity, with Layer 2 extended LAN and managed OS.

BT WAN services are available globally, servicing:

  • Asia Pacific
  • The UK and Europe
  • The Middle East and Africa
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • North America



Country availability: 198 locations

Outside of the UK fibre: 46,000km

POP quantity: 4,733
NNI POP locations: 1,619
BT Global POP locations: 195
NNI (Network to Network) Interconnects: 1,619
BT employees: 19,800 

ACCREDIATIONS

Company accreditations as WAN providers:

ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications allow us to specify and deliver ICT products and services, which meet international quality and information security standards.

ISO22301:2012 accreditation ensures that we develop and implement resilient business continuity plan that safeguards the interests of our customers, our employees, and our business.

ISO18001 certification ensures us that health and safety regulations are updated and upheld to provide a safe working environment for all staff.

ITIL, ISO 14001 and 20000 to the design, management, and implementation of all of our ICT services.

Who are we, and are we a good fit for you?

Our approach to BT design, delivery, and ongoing account management.

Using a BT Authorised Partner vs. BT Global or UK direct

How do we account for managing services?

With whom do we work?

We’re BT Partner of the Year 2016/17. Why?