TNT to deliver video to the desk

By Gareth Morgan
17 Aug 2011 View Comments
TNT lorries in a row

International logistics giant TNT Express is set for a global deployment of videoconferencing technology, with desktop systems rolling out across the company later this year.

The use of videoconferencing has been growing over the past couple of years, as the business is ever more attuned to reducing unnecessary travel, said John Riley, senior network architect at TNT.

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“We’ve put some videoconferencing systems in over time and will be rolling out desktop systems later this year,” he told Computing.

Nevertheless, the growth of video across the business’s networks is being carefully managed, with on-demand videos and training sessions restricted to those with a business case for accessing them, said Riley. “Video is not usually a requirement for people in our depots to do their job,” he said.

TNT has previously used live video broadcasts to corporate results and HR-related programmes to the companies’ global offices.

Those broadcasts were supported by the deployment of WAN optimisation technology from Blue Coat, which ensures that video content can be deployed across its network, without causing network congestion and degrading other business-critical applications.

“Our experience to date has been that we haven’t had to do [traffic] prioritisation, although as more video goes over our networks, we may look to deploy some additional network acceleration,” said Riley.

TNT operates a decentralised IT system across its sites globally, but with standardised core services. And many of its core applications are hosted out of its UK datacentre in Addlestone, Surrey with proxy clients installed locally.

That means there’s a “little trepidation” about the prospect of more video traffic coming onstream, said Riley. “But it’s a big growth area for us and past experience gives us confidence,” he added.

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