If you’re an IT Manager considering BT UK or Global MPLS read on as we show readers how to obtain pricing, the available products in 2019 and how to engage with BT including Global Services. We’ll outline the latest capability, help you to avoid pitfalls and show you how to achieve the best price point for yourorganisations. And, we'll discuss why BT Partner Sales is a great option vs Corporate or Local Business.
Above. The Medivet team attending an SD WAN workshop at BT Centre 2019. We can arrange the same for your organisation. And, output from our NU Connect team, we'll produce a free report on your specific locations and serving nodes to understand reach and pricing.
The majority of IT teams are funnelled into certain product sets by BT sales often resulting in mis-alignment issues during contract. As BT products and services across the WAN space are not particularly well defined, it is difficult for prospects to quickly understand capability. And, the actual ramifications of making an unformed decision normally position the WAN as a bottleneck to your applications and users.
Where to engage BT and how to request pricing?
In most instances, IT believe the only option to engage with BT is via their direct sales team or, if your business is international, via BT Global Services. While the aforementioned options are clearly viable, there is a further route. Network Union operate, under a contractual framework, within the BT Partner Channel where we are supported by dedicated BT employed staff with escalation teams and access to the complete product set.
Our team are regular visitors to the BT Belfast NOC where we've arranged for managed service presentations directly from the teams involved. We like to think we’re the best of both worlds, the logistical capability of BT MPLS together with boutique and highly effective account management provided by Network Union. BT Business own the contractual relationship, they support and bill you as per any direct client. We currently account manage Global clients with only 3 sites, one of our UK clients is growing in excess of 250 sites. With the above said, if your business would like to speak with a direct BT employed contact, just let us know.
In order to offer up an example, engaging directly with BT Global Services will route you via the IP Connect Global product set. And while IP Connect is a well established product for unmanaged wires only, the overall capability does not offer comprehensive or agile managed services. There are certain sectors where Global Services offer a specific capability, e.g. BT Radianz used within the financial sector. In short, our experience suggests that IP Connect Global is suited for either very simple requirements or large Enterprise network capabilities where bespoke project and service management is added to the mix. This leaves a huge mid market section where our recommendation is to always follow the Managed WAN route since the service offering is so much more feature rich across all aspects.
How are BT MPLS costs calculated?
The UK MPLS market is fairly predictable where MPLS pricing is concerned, the variability is caused by distance to your local BT PoP. Where Global connectivity is concerned, pricing may differ depending on the in country provider and distance to the local BT PoP. As an example, connectivity within the UAE region is markedly more expensive vs say, France for example.
At a base level, the following represents the level of detail required to produce an initial quotation.
- Addresses - a list of sites with postcode and telephone number where possible.
- Ethernet Bandwidth - an estimate of speeds allocated per site, typically 100Mbp/s, 1Gbp/s and more recently, 10Gbp/s circuits.
- Small to medium branch sites - lower cost connectivity exists in the form of EFM (Ethernet First Mile), Copper and Superfast Infinity fibre.
- Failover and Diversity - a number of options exist including full BT Secure Plus RA02 solutions with no single point of failure, subject to survey.
- Managed Services - IP Connect Global offers wires only and fully managed Cisco edge devices with a fully serviced wrap. There are now other options including BT Managed WAN.
- QoS - Quality of Service including support for real time traffic such as voice and video (EF - Expedited Forwarding), mission critical traffic (AF - Assured Forwarding) and all other traffic which is not classified (Be - Best Effort).
- Fast Start - 3G/4G/5G capability to quickly establish connectivity where required. Above - a simplistic list of required items.
The points listed above are used to transpose your specific requirements to site types. Add application performance / uptime, cloud and security requirements with traffic routing, the design begins to build into something meaningful. Your network Security and how the WAN is accessed, including cloud resources, is an essential attribute - we analyse which users need to access the VPN/Resources by particular user groups.
How to migrate your MPLS network to BT?
The actual process of migrating from one provider to the other starts way in advance of contracts and circuit delivery dates.
All too often, the WAN is viewed as yet another IT project, something which is necessary rather than a service which is to be leveraged.
BT Diagnostic WAN Procurement is our methodology to help IT Managers looking to purchase BT UK/Global MPLS IP VPN network services. Our sessions cover the technical, applications, strategy, process and costs to your organisation. Migrating your incumbent network to BT Global is an investment in both time and money. IT teams must work to fully document requirements thus determining risk but also to improve upon pain points.
Under the BT Managed WAN product capability, Project Managers now reside within the same team as BT technical staff; close alignment results in a joined up approach for technical presales and delivery. TDA (Technical Design Authority), Network Transition Staff, SRM (Service Relationship Managers), Services desk and Change control all work within one single team based out of the secure BT Belfast NOC.
With Prince2, ITIL and Cisco CCIE resources pooled with audited processes, migration is one of the key pillars of service. The need for your team to become involved in the process is a cost to your business from the perspective of time.
If your requirements are complex and your existing network reporting is weak, you may wish to consider an audit. While an audit is often not a significant expense, you will need to factor in these ancillary areas to evaluate complete cost. An audit will often provide end to end IP testing from your users through the LAN and across the WAN to identify exactly where issues exist (this could be the performance of a PC or LAN switch, router and so on). How in-depth you go largely depends on the availability of existing VPN solution statistics and documentation.
Without this data, it is often difficult to understand whether or not a fresh IP VPN design will be fit for purpose. The technical side of your prospective BT MPLS WAN must also contain your network topology which offers up an overall architecture overview. Which data centre and hosting sites are supporting your UK/Global core network, regional sites and also metro sites together with routing and required uptime?
What about the cost of additional BT Managed MPLS network services?
The Global MPLS product capability has been revised to include services offerings across Routing and Switching, Security, Voice and consultancy.
- IP Routing and Switching - In the main, Cisco provide the core offering with alternatives from HP and Dell.
- Security - Cisco, Checkpoint, Juniper and Palo Alto Firewalls with dedicated BT Managed DDOS protection.
- Voice - BT Cloud Voice (IP Telephony) for off premise Cloud or Cisco for on Premise alternatives.
- Wireless - Cisco Meraki Wireless solutions form the basis of all wireless capability. Virtualisation - VMWare, Hyper-V, Xen Server, Solaris OS.
- Disaster Recovery - BCM, SRM, SAN SRDF, Server Failover and BMR. Backup - Arcserve, Commvault, NetBackup, Veeam, Backup Exec, Acronis. Storage - HP Left Hand, EMC VMAX, EMC VNX, Dell, Synology, HP3Par.
- Hardware - HP, Dell, IBM, Oracle.
In addition to the BT Global MPLS Managed Services core offering, the overall solution is backed up by dedicated project management, technical design engineering, delivery and change managers, product specialist and our technical account management approach.
Why engage with BT via an Authorised BT Partner?
Procuring connectivity is often daunting. The very nature of application performance, uptime and budget across International sites requires significant thought when compared to national deployments of MPLS. BT Partners are Authorised based on the value and approach that they are individually able to bring to both BT prospects and existing clients.
Beginning a Global design and project aligned to your Enterprise business?
The projects we are creating for SME and large Global Enterprise companies do not only focus on the technical. The experience is, in fact, a combination of differing aspects of technical design, business strategy, process, service levels, support, contracts and budget. Bringing everything together requires a knowledge of the key questions to ask within your organisation.
As a company, we remain convinced that the diagnostic approach is the simplest way to create, connect and quantify the value of any complex telecoms service. We’ve taken the time to understand the areas which matter allowing you to understand quickly and diagnose where the pitfalls exist together with the opportunity to ensure your BT MPLS network solution acts as a technology enabler and not a bottleneck to your business. The key to successful BT Global MPLS pricing surrounds collating your knowledge within the critical areas which have a reliance or impact on connectivity.
Once you have this data, you need to align with the key aspects which matter vs WAN service capability.