BT has introduced Intelligent Virtual Private Network, the first service for its global 21st Century Network. The iVPN service will let businesses access their corporate networks across any of 172 countries covered.
Announced on Thursday, iVPN service will underpin all other IT services on the next-generation network, such as application optimisation, videoconferencing, unified communications, call centres, datacentres and security.
While the 21st Century Network (21CN) is an IP-based single network for all voice and data that is replacing BT's traditional phone networks in the UK, the global 21CN is BT's international network that is used as a platform for the delivery of managed IT services.
Over the past couple of years, BT has been shifting its focus from providing pure communications to offering IT services.
BT Global Services's marketing chief Claire Ritchie said the launch of the dynamic VPN service was a "big step forward", as it is the first service to be offered globally on the 21CN platform. The first UK service on the platform, the Etherflow Ethernet WAN connection, was introduced earlier this year.
"It's been a big investment for us," Ritchie told ZDNet UK on Friday. "From a customer's point of view, they're getting a much better customer experience. At this point, we're targeting new customers with the [iVPN] service. For current customers on our internet platform, we're looking to develop systems and software to migrate them over in the next 18 months, on a customer-by-customer basis."
Ritchie said internet-based access to the VPN will be the next service on 21CN, and the plan is to introduce that within the next six to eight weeks. This year or next, BT's Applications Assured Infrastructure (AAI) service, which offers application performance optimisation, will also make its way onto the global platform.