Whirlpool Canada stars in AT&T convergence clip

AT&T Global Services Canada has cast one of its oldest customers in a video that’s promoting the firm’s vision of converged global networks based on Internet Protocol and its recently opened Canadian data centre.

The company on Wednesday announced a series of Webcasts and white papers it will be showing on its Web site that “assess how globalization is impacting IT operations and decision making.” Although AT&T Canada executives do most of the talking, the star of the first clip, “Globalization and Emerging Trends,” is Whirlpool Canada Inc., with whom it has been working for more than 10 years.

“It’s very important to work very closely with network service provider and be able to resolve the problems completely,” said Whirlpool Canada IT manager Alex Petrov in the 15-minute Webcast. “You need to have a good understanding of how to provision new locations to deliver on service-level agreements and service commitments.”

Three years ago, Whirlpool Corp. signed a US$27 million deal with AT&T to convert to multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), which secured its network on the same global backbone. In Canada, complementary projects have included an enterprise-wide rollout of a VPN that linked Whirlpool’s seven Canadian sites, the day-to-day management of which is handled by AT&T.

“Without this network, none of those benefits of globalization and convergence can be realized,” Petrov said. He identified manufacturing, supply chain and administrative applications as some of the key elements of the firm’s strategy. “In that sense, to put all those pieces together, we really need to provide a reliable IP network that would connect those locations. We also need to provide some backup functionality in case the primary connection fails.”

AT&T Global Services Canada regional vice-president Andrea Messineo notes in the video a significant increase in the number of Canadian-based multi-national firms, which understand the need to globalize to become more competitive. She said the company expects more customers to converge voice, video and data on the same IP infrastructure.

“IP networks lend themselves to convergence and globalization,” she said, describing them as “a tool to deploy applications and services much more efficiently, and we manage those services.”

Late last year, AT&T Global Services Canada opened a new Internet data centre in Thornhill, Ont. which will also serve customers in Latin America. The facility was a way for the company to launch My Internet Protect, a knowledge-mining, alerting and notification service for threats targeted at a customer’s IP network. Another service, DDoS Defense, is for distributed denial of service identification and mitigation within AT&T’s backbone. Private Intranet Protect is more particular, and only sold to AT&T Internet Protect customers who are also AT&T VPN customers and use managed VPN services.

The second Webcast in the series will explore how hosting and management services are changing the way Canadian business operate and compete on the global stage.

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