National Express drives £10 million IP VPN project forward

National Express Group is investing 10 million in a five-year project to migrate 200 sites from asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) technology to a new, managed IP virtual private network (VPN).

The transformation will also enable the company, which serves more than one billion passengers annually through its bus, train, light rail and express coach operations, to link its UK operations with those in Canada, Spain and the US using videoconferencing technology.

The project, the renewal of an existing contract with Global Crossing, will be executed in phases, starting with the migration of 10 major sites, including National Express' London offices and regional headquarters.

"The move to an IP network environment is a natural progression for the group and will harmonise our infrastructure and help create a cohesive IT strategy across all divisions, while laying the foundation for an eventual transition to full convergence of voice and data," said Richard Rowson, head of IT strategy for National Express Group.

Other new IP services, such as CCTV surveillance at stations, passenger traffic information systems, IT and back-office systems, will also be introduced as part of the transformation.

In addition, Global Crossing will create a four-site IP VPN linking the head office, a data centre and two other operational sites.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.