Biffa goes virtual with new networks deal

Biffa bins

Biffa has signed a multi-million pound, five-year contract to upgrade its wide area networks (WAN) through a virtual network operator (VNO) managed service.

The converged voice and data WAN forms part of a board-level strategy to gain greater efficiencies across the business and create a foundation for the roll out of a new centralised IT platform and practices.

Val Austin, IT manager at Biffa said: "The board was keen to assess the remaining ICT estate for efficiency and longevity and use this window of opportunity to realign IT with Biffa's growth strategy."

Working with VNO Azzurri, the company identified the limitations, complexity, and management burden of its existing infrastructure.

This led to the deal for the managed WAN to connect over 160 waste and recycling depots, landfill sites, and offices to create a single, more robust communications platform.

Azzurri has taken on the full management of Biffa's existing carrier contracts, with the migration and convergence of Biffa's existing, but currently separate, voice and data networks due for completion in October 2008.

"We were attracted by [Azzurri's] managed services model, which has agility, efficiency and innovation at the core of its proposition," added Austin.

Recently acquired by a private equity consortium, Biffa is a specialist provider of paper, cardboard and glass recycling, skip hire, hazardous waste and landfill disposal services. As such, Austin also said the new service will help the company use IT more innovatively to focus on its core business.

"The board is extremely keen that IT supports the implementation of innovative practices to grow the business. With a managed service in place, the constant churn of maintenance tasks is removed and in-house talent can thrive in an environment where creativity can make a tangible difference to the future of our business," she said.

"Furthermore, the VNO attributes of [the deal] means we are able to continually evolve and refresh our core IT infrastructure as the business grows and new technologies emerge."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.