Overall, if the comparison of IP Connect vs. Managed WAN offers such significant benefits, why would your business choose anything else?
Depending on the BT account team your business is allocated, you’ll discover that the BT IP Connect Global product is not the only choice for medium to large Enterprise businesses procuring BT international managed MPLS connectivity. Straight out of BT’s Belfast NOC, there is an alternative in the form of BT Managed WAN. The difference surrounds the available managed service elements offered alongside the core BT MPLS IP backbone.
In short, the solutions are not only more feature rich but the resources assigned are vastly improved from a process and in-life contract perspective. The BT Managed WAN solution has evolved to offer Global MPLS that includes four pillars of service: Design Services - Service Architects, Enterprise Architects, Technical Design Authority.
- Delivery - Project Co-ordinators, Project Managers, Programme Managers.
- In Life - 1st to 3rd line support, process team, tools team and security.
- Service Management - desk based management and senior service managers.
Global MPLS is available as layer 2 VPLS or layer 3 MPLS supported by 100Mbps, 1Gbps and 10Gbps Ethernet connectivity including support for QoS (Quality of Service). In order to keep costs down, bandwidth tiers are accessible in increments of 1Mbps. By operating across all facets of managed services, the latest BT product supports the following capability.
Cisco Managed WAN with dedicated Technical Design engineering and project management.
The latest Global managed WAN offering is significantly uplifted in respect of pre-sales and in-delivery project management. Within the initial stages of your BT MWAN sales process, a dedicated BT engineer is assigned to walk through configuration based on application performance, network reachability, routing protocols and reporting. Once the initial network architecture is complete, a dedicated project manager is assigned which includes a detailed plan on the rollout, risks and associated milestones. When comparing Managed WAN with IP Connect Global, the two products have been created to meet specific market demands. The managed WAN product is designed to meet a large section of the business market with standard requirements across all facets of IT communications services. With this said, the service capability also offers additional functionality on a bespoke basis. The overall sales process includes Cisco CCIE data expertise to ensure any elements that require a higher level of focus are considered. The project manager is also initially involved in the presales process to ensure the required data is acquired and correctly documented.
Cloud including Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Cloud Voice and SIP.
Although MPLS is based on private connectivity, the MWAN product facilitates back to back access to products such as Office 365 and Microsoft Azure via Express Route circuits. Other cloud services are accessible via either in data centre connections or public Internet breakout. BT Cloud Voice is leading the way by helping companies migrate from legacy ISDN-2 and ISDN-30 to Cloud services. As of 2018, BT SIP services integrate with Cloud Voice allowing customers to mix and match their connectivity.
Security and Quality.
With 32 passed audits, PCI DSS compliance and multiple ISO certifications, the processes across BT WAN services are robust and mature. While the detail behind these accreditations is often unknown, the takeaway for Global businesses is confidence surrounding business changes. Internally within the BT Belfast NOC, their security team is working to ensure all processes and certifications are upheld. With emergency services, financial, education, council and UK government sectors all supported both by IP Connect and Managed WAN products there is a certain trust associated with the BT brand. All BT staff supporting customers are learned and based on an IL3 level secure environment.
With regular audits and disaster recovery tests taking place, the surrounding security of BT WAN customers is significant and covers the following: ISO 270001:2013 - Information Security Management ISO 22301:2012 - Business Continuity Management PCI-DSS - Supporting standard adherence across customers.
Quality of Service across Global connectivity?
The Managed WAN/IP Connect products both include the BT 6 layered CoS (Class of Service) allowing applications to be set as per the diagram below. Outside of the default class for generic traffic, mission-critical applications are supported by AF (Assured Forwarding) and EF (Expedited Forwarding). As a guide, AF supports traffic such as Citrix, SAP or video conferencing whereas EF will provide strict priority to any delay-sensitive data such as Voice via the SIP protocol.
The 6-CoS model is flexible, where a class is not in use, bursting is available to make the most of your bandwidth. The only caveat is EF where traffic will be dropped outside of the maximum set bandwidth limit. Reporting and statistics Statistics and reporting is an evolving area of WAN procurement with new advances occurring on a regular basis.
The very latest stats are based on application level reporting allowing IT teams to consider the end to end flow of data. In addition, exceptions are configured to identify where traffic performance is degraded rather than a hard outage. In general, Managed WAN provides the functionality to analyse IP traffic as it enters and exits the router interface. By analysing the data, certain components will be identified to determine where the issue may reside, e.g. congestion.
Where your requirements revolve around managed WAN services, the latest Belfast offering represents a significant improvement to the Enterprise business. Security services via managed Checkpoint Firewalls are standard with intrusion protection are available together with consultancy across all aspects of networking.
IP Connect Global MPLS vs BT Managed WAN?
The IP Connect product is sold to all business sizes from three site networks to several hundred. Today, the world of telecoms is changing meaning the demand for a more comprehensive feature rich service offering is the norm. The question is, how has BT responded? While IP Connect fundamentally delivers on global connectivity for international unmanaged networks, managed services customers should also consider Global BT Managed WAN. To excel as an IT Executive, your business needs to be sure the WAN operates as a platform which enables cloud and user productivity on a global basis with secure access across 3G, 4G, Broadband, EFM, Internet and so forth. The legacy Managed IP Connect Global product is trusted by thousands of clients with UK headquartered businesses.