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Intellium Builds Private WAN with the Paper Plus Group

Intellium Builds Private WAN with the Paper Plus Group

Intellium Technology is building one of the biggest private Wide Area Networks in the country for New Zealand’s largest chain of book and stationary stores, the Paper Plus Group.

The Paper Plus Group went to market with a Request for Proposal to refresh its hardware and upgrade its network in 2016.

Paper Plus Group chief information officer Mandy Kennedy says the business, which has around 115 stores nationwide, was facing problems with its aged technical infrastructure. Servers were coming to the end of life and their Spark network was being retired.

“The biggest pain point for a lot of store owners was the speed of the network, we were told it was impacting their business,” she explains.

After being shortlisted alongside the incumbent provider, Spark, Auckland-based Intellium Technology was selected to complete the work in early 2017.

Intellium designed, procured, built and continues to support a private Wide Area Network for the Paper Plus Group.

Simultaneously, Intellium delivered a hardware refresh project, migrating the Paper Plus Group on to new servers, which are located offsite at Intellium’s data centre.

By the end of March 2018, the WAN will connect 113 stores from Kerikeri to Invercargill, providing significantly increased connectivity speeds and reliability, as well as the opportunity for remote working.

The Group’s support office has been moved off Gmail and on to Exchange as its email system and users have far richer functionality, including the ability to work from home.

Wanaka Paper Plus was one of the first stores to be connected to the new WAN in May 2017.Store manager Chris Lumsden says the upgrade has meant significant time savings for him and his staff.

“Before, everything was really slowed down so much that we weren’t functioning very well and now that’s gone.

“It’s enabled me to work from home so that’s a lot more productive. I had a car crash and broke my back, but I was able to do my job from my bed, it was just like being there in the shop,” he says.

Intellium’s Director of Business Development Mark Taylor says that the Paper Plus Group was looking to get added value out of their investment.

By giving the option to replace the existing phone systems with Voice Over IP, store owners can choose to no longer pay for land lines by running their phones over the Internet. Improved resilience was achieved by cellular failover being incorporated into the design.

Mandy Kennedy says: “The speed of the network is vastly improved for all of the stores. The ability to work remotely has improved and our email platform is a lot richer in functionality. This all improves efficiency, which is both saving time in stores and reducing levels of frustration.”

Paper Plus is also trialling in store WiFi at some sites, thanks to the improved connectivity.


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