Over the past five years, our team have worked with the BT IP Connect Global and UK services proposition. As of writing this article, our BT Partnership currently account manages clients using the layer 3 MPLS product. Note: Ethernet Connect Global offers layer 2 VPLS ELAN access capability.
The experience we’ve gained suggests IP Connect is actually a niche capability and only fits customers situated at the large Enterprise sector of business. Learn about the latest WAN products via our workshop.The type of company is typically government or large infrastructure with budget for additional resources such as dedicated project and service management throughout contract lifecycle. With this said, there are many clients, of all sizes, using the product today regardless of whether their business is a fit vs. capability and budget.
We cannot fully comment on the internal BT product strategy but the recent release of BT's revised Managed WAN product suggests they too recognise the need for a new WAN capability to meet Global and UK market demands.
In this respect, the majority of businesses from three sites through to several hundred are often better to begin research with the latest Managed WAN product vs. BT IP Connect.
What’s the difference between IP Connect vs. Managed WAN?
We often hear dedicated service management is a must have with BT IP Connect simply because it is imperative for resource to consistently manage internal BT teams. An example, slow process around WAN circuit adds, moves and changes which often end up protracted as paperwork and resources take time to pull together.
Aside from process, the product is not particularly great at adding other managed service elements. The MPLS statistics available from the My Account tool (latency, jitter and throughput) are very behind the times and poor to say the least.
In fact, due to the restrictive nature of the Connect product, BT outsourced their managed services prior to the latest Managed WAN product release.
Aside from process, the BT Global Services network is seriously well scaled and fundamentally offers significant capability to support applications. Gartner have recently recognised BT for Midsize European Network, Large European Network and Core City Backbone services. The general perception from customers is that once the circuits are live, they’re pretty much reliable with minimal issues.
While layer 3 MPLS VPN is a core service offering, the revised BT Managed WAN product offers much more in the way of overall access capability.
- Managed Layer 3 MPLS
- Wires only Layer 3 MPLS Managed
- Layer 2 VPLS Wires only
- Layer 2 VPLS SHDS (Short Haul Data Services)
- VLL Point to Point and Multipoint Leased Line
- Managed LAN
- Managed IPSec Cisco DWVPN
- BT Express Route connection for MPLS & VPLS
- Microsoft Office 365
- BT Cloud Voice
- Checkpoint, Cisco and Palo Alto Firewalls
- Application performance statistics Professional Services
All Global and UK WAN management is now provided out of Belfast with permanent staff supporting all areas of managed services.
Overall benefits include access to your support team via instant messaging applications, personal service relationship manager, improved quality and security all backed by a fully resilient NOC with 22301 standard accreditation.
We now have direct experience of the revised product where customer experience has been hugely improved. Clearly, the typical issues and problems which relate to telecoms remain but are much more proactively dealt with during project roll out. Ethernet remains challenging to deliver within reasonable timescales but we’re finding process is improving on a consistent basis.
Whether or not your company selects IP Connect or the revised Managed WAN product, the network remains as a real plus point for organisations looking at supporting international connectivity. The BT stats suggest over £10B has been invested in the core and access technologies.
Managed WAN High level facts.
Technical Design Authority - A resource to align your business requirement with required configuration, e.g. application QoS (Quality of Service), high availability diversity and resilience for site access.
Project Management - Based on guidelines to BS6079, BT were actually involved in progressing this new British standard. Project management principals included ISO9001 accreditation.
Network Engineering - Network design methodologies are used again to ISO9001 and ISO27001 solution and delivery procedures.
Service Desk - Single point of contact with tools available via a managed platform allowing customers to log support tickets and view statistics such as latency, jitter, bandwidth usage, throughput, packet loss and more.
Service Support - The Support team is one of BT’s core centres of excellence globally with several layers of security.
- IP Connect and the MWAN product set covers mainland Britain and Northern Ireland with Global connection capability in excess of 197 countries across the world.
- Access to various cloud services within back to back hosting facilities and data centre locations.
- The majority of prospects are looking for Ethernet data connectivity.
- In addition, BT offer a range of broadband services into MPLS which may be used for a low cost resilience solution or for offices which do not required leased line connectivity.
- 3G and 4G fast start and failover solutions are also available under the new product - for both Internet and MPLS data services.
- On the DSL front, ADSL2 and FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) are available dependent on the BT exchange your offices are connected to across your estate. The BT EFM (Ethernet First Mile) product is also available as an additional connectivity type across the UK.
How much does BT IP Connect Global cost vs. Managed WAN?
As ever, costs depend on location, bandwidth and service levels. Pricing starts at around £100 per month for Broadband access up to over £1000 for Ethernet.