Morrisons signs new networks deal


Morrisons has agreed a new three-year, multimillion-pound voice and data managed services deal.

The UK's fourth largest supermarket has decided to overhaul it ageing networking capabilities with a managed services deal covering its 430 sites.

Telecoms provider Cable & Wireless will deploy its managed internet protocol (IP) virtual private network (VPN) offering on its next generation multi-service platform (MSP) to connect stores, petrol stations, distribution centres and data centres to its corporate headquarters.

The deal is expected to more than quadruple the retailer's current network capacity and allow for the deployment of a suite of business critical applications to 114,000 employees across all sites.

And the Cable & Wireless single operating MSP network will provide Morrisons with efficient, high-bandwidth network capability, quicker delivery times and higher service reliability.

The MSP will also enable the chain to take advantage of a range of new applications and services, like IP-CCTV and fixed-to-mobile convergence. The deal also includes the Cable & Wireless Application Performance Management (APM) suite, which Morrisons will use to better monitor its IT estate and give it an overview of its IT infrastructure at an application, rather than a network level.

Gary Barr, Morrisons IT director said: "When we were looking to upgrade our network, we wanted a supplier who demonstrated not only an understanding of our business, but also had innovative and flexible solutions to give us the tools to streamline our processes and operations Cable & Wireless met this criteria exactly."

Morrisons is the latest major UK multiple to sign up to the provider's MSP offering, after Tesco signed a similar deal earlier this year. Barr added: "Morrisons requires proven, world-class systems to achieve our business requirements for profitable growth today and in the future as we continue to drive for ongoing business excellence. We see investing in our network as an essential part of our growth plans which over time delivers real dividends." Only last week Morrisons unveiled more investment plans, having bought 38 Co-op stores. It plans to integrate the stores' Oracle Retail IT infrastructure in with the ongoing deployment of its own, new Oracle environment.

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.