BT today announced that it has recently connected the first sites of the new IT network for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s European businesses.
The achievement of this milestone follows the recent signing of a five-year IT partnership, under which BT is upgrading and expanding the IT infrastructure for Walgreens Boots Alliance, the parent company of wholesaler Alliance Healthcare and leading health and beauty retailer Boots.
Once completed, the new BT-managed IT network will serve around 3,500 Boots locations and Alliance Healthcare wholesale and distribution sites across Europe and Asia (Thailand).
The newly connected sites in the UK and Norway represent one of the first steps in Walgreens Boots Alliance’s IT transformation programme. It will immediately benefit the company by providing improved performance and reliability to support key business systems and applications. BT will work with Walgreens Boots Alliance to develop and introduce new digital technologies across its businesses. These will help further boost employee productivity, improve customer service and foster innovation.
BT will provide connectivity into Walgreens Boots Alliance’s own data centres (or “clouds”), as well as those operated by third parties hosting the company’s business applications and data. This will allow the company to benefit from BT’s new “Cloud of Clouds” approach to IT, giving the company more control over the performance of its cloud-based applications regardless of where they’re hosted. By taking this approach and allowing employees to access these services via a single, managed BT network all the way from the data centre to their devices, Walgreens Boots Alliance will benefit from end-to-end security and reliable applications performance.
The company will also deploy a range of different network access technologies for Boots’ flagship stores in the UK. These stores will benefit from dedicated fibre Ethernet services while other stores will use “Ethernet in the First Mile”, superfast broadband and copper-based broadband solutions. These technologies will give stores the bandwidth they need for the smooth and reliable performance of their day-to-day operations as well as the capacity to manage peaks in business demand.
Erwin van Vroenhoven, vice president, global IT shared services, Walgreens Boots Alliance, said: “Digital innovation is a key area of investment for our company. Our new IT platform, provided by BT, will help us to further improve the customer experience and our colleagues’ productivity, while enabling us to provide innovative services that will help us continue to meet our customers’ ever changing health and beauty needs.”
Emer Timmons, president, strategic deals and customer engagement, BT Global Services, said: “Our new agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance is built on our world class service delivery, global reach and a shared appetite for innovation. We will provide seamless connectivity to underpin almost every part of the business, from delivering great retail customer experiences to enabling knowledge sharing and collaboration for new product development.
“Our success in winning this new deal reflects the value of our ongoing network investments and confirms our position as a market leader in global connectivity.”