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Zurich Insurance Group Selects BT As Global Networking Provider

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Zurich Insurance Group Selects BT As Global Networking Provider

July 09, 2015
By Peter Bernstein
Senior Editor

As has been a constant refrain on this channel for months, the lack of investment in technology of all kinds by major insurance providers, from contact centers to back office systems to basic infrastructure, has placed them in jeopardy as more digitally adept players nip at much more than their heels. However one big insurer, with Zurich Insurance Group, has decided it is time for a serious infrastructure upgrade and has entered into a six-year deal with BT to do the job of the insurer’s entire global communications network. 

This is a big deal for BT (News - Alert).  Zurich Insurance Group is a multi-line insurer with more than 55,000 employees, serving customers in more than 170 countries. BT will consolidate, modernize and manage Zurich's communications infrastructure, which underpins the insurer's operations across 49 countries worldwide. The contract covers:

  • Internet connectivity
  • Global wide area networking
  • Local area networking
  • IP telephony and enterprise voice services
  • Support of Zurich's global contact centers
  • Implementation of BT’s high quality MeetMe with Dolby Voice service
  • Management of Zurich’s global video conferencing systems

Robert Dickie, chief operations and technology officer, Zurich Insurance Group, said: "This is a major agreement for Zurich and a key part of our Group's IT & Operations transformation. “ He added, "There are significant advantages in working with a truly global company, not the least of which are the increased agility and efficiency in dealing with one main provider."

Zurich will be using the BT IP Connect international virtual private network (VPN) service which converges voice, video and data onto a single IP network. This will be the vehicle for the delivery of high bandwidth connectivity globally to all of Zurich’s various locations, and will provide connectivity into Zurich's main data centers.

Luis Alvarez, chief executive, BT Global Services (News - Alert), said: "Zurich has entrusted BT to manage its communications network because we understand that it's critical for global companies to have local capability to serve customers wherever they may be. Zurich's global network creates a foundation for seamless collaboration for employees worldwide and enables them to access the increasing number of business applications and services."

The stated objective of the agreement is to help transform Zurich's IT infrastructure so that it delivers increased network performance and improved audio and video capabilities for the company's customers and employees.

The latter is an interesting part of the networking upgrade. The reason is that the quality of real-time interactions is becoming a true competitive differentiator.  The video aspect of all of this is likely to become critical going forward for a host of reasons associated with all types of customer interactions.  Zurich is one company that recognizes that voice and video quality are going to be important in an omni-channel real-time communications world and it is why BT supporting the contact centers is a key part of this agreement.  

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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