BT satisfying Manpower's global ambitions

Reach and application performance key for staffing giant's network choice

Reach and application performance key for staffing giant's network choice

A truly global offering and the ability to guarantee the performance of applications have been noted as the two main reasons Manpower is consolidating its networking needs with a $73m IP virtual private network contract from BT.

The employment services giant is based in Milwaukee but has a presence in more than 60 countries with about 4,000 offices. It also uses over 580 applications and more than 70 financial systems.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, CTO at Manpower, said: "We used an IP VPN using MPLS [Multi-Protocol Label Switching] to connect our offices in an end-to-end, performant way."

MPLS allows for more flexible managed networking using IP VPN.

Manpower used consultants as it worked its way down from six or seven providers to a shortlist of two. It is understood the usual customers were in the frame, with IP VPNs typically offered globally by the likes of AT&T, Equant, Infonet, MCI and Sprint.

"We had to choose someone with a really global network," said Fitzpatrick. "Some [providers] we discounted because on paper they could do it but not reality."

He said that Manpower used BT reference sites before making its decision and will rely on the telco to manage its partners in countries where it doesn't have infrastructure.

Service levels are in place that extend to the DSL lines that connect some branch offices.

The fact that the company has chosen BT shows it didn't feel the need to choose a US provider, he added.

BT was one of Manpower's numerous existing providers, in Spain and the UK, and is also a major buyer of its staffing services.

The contract lasts five years.