By Maximilian Clarke

BT today announced a four-year networked IT services contract with Staples, the world’s largest office products company serving businesses and consumers in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The contract provides Staples with a cost-effective, highly resilient network connecting 325 offices and stores across seven European countries into a single, secure wide area network (WAN) environment.

Kevin Milliken, senior vice-president and head of Information Technology at Staples, Europe said: “We are working towards one single, European wide-area network connecting all our offices and stores across Europe. We chose BT as our primary European supplier because of their reliability, flexibility and ability to offer us a high-bandwidth, cost-effective wide area network — regardless of underlying technology or office location. Based on our track-record with BT, I am confident we have chosen the right network partner.”

Edwin Hageman, CEO BT Benelux: “I am pleased to announce this contract with Staples. The pan-European scope of the services once again confirms our strength in delivering international networked IT services, wherever our customers want us to go. It also underlines the continued investment we’re making in our network and services to offer our customers industry leading technology and support.”

BT will be providing Staples with an intelligent IP Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) service, running on the global BT IP Connect platform, across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. BT’s IP Connect services enable customers to connect their operations in a fast and efficient way.

BT has more than 20 years’ experience in designing, running and managing global IP networks for government organisations and leading multinational businesses. According to industry analyst firm IDC, BT is a clear leader in the global IP VPN market in terms of market share 1. In November 2011, BT was voted ‘Best Global Operator’ for the second year running at the World Communication Awards.

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