goFLUENT

Subject: ICT Solution – Network (IPv4, MPLS), Managed Hosting and Systems Integration
Industry Sector: Education
Country: International
Organisation: goFLUENT

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goFLUENT combines high availability with quality of service.

Overview

Founded in 2000, goFLUENT has become one of the leading companies in the supply of telephonic and online English language training for professionals, offering a complete and integrated solution for distance learning (Live eLearning Audit/Test). Convinced that the practice of telecommuting would continue to become more popular, goFLUENT has been consistently growing for the past 10 years. In 2009 goFLUENT delivered 500 000 English language courses in Europe and with a team of 500 employees supported 2000 enterprise customers worldwide.

In order to cope with the growth in demand and to meet the quality of service requirements needed for long distance vocational training, goFLUENT had to upgrade their IT infrastructure and telecommunications. This ambitious project led goFLUENT to turn to NTT Europe to deploy a wide range of complementary ICT services (network – IPv4/MPLS, systems integration and managed hosting) through its various subsidiaries across the world.

"Since 2009 NTT Europe has been managing the entire telecommunications and information system infrastructure, giving us the comfort of a turnkey voice/data solution and the robustness of a Tier 1 network" explains Hugues Gendre, Chief Information Officer, goFLUENT, "Being able to work with a true ICT partner is a real asset to our company. The ability of NTT to provide the networking, systems integration within the information system and managed hosting, means that we actually have a one-stop shop, which really simplifies life.”

Communication is key

goFLUENT has 400 trainers whose mother tongue is English, based in the United States, Canada and the Philippines and students from all over the world, especially in Europe, who require English training via telephone from their home countries. In 2007, due to increased goFLUENT activities, the company faced congestion problems due to the high volume of calls from Europe to the Philippines, especially during peak periods between 09h00 and 14h00 Central European Time or 15h00 and 20h00 in the Philippines. The different local operators on both continents, who were not expecting to manage such high demands, quickly exhausted their communication routing capabilities.

“We sought a vendor capable of supporting calls, from the trainer in the Philippines to the learner,” says Gendre, “NTT has proven to be the only supplier capable of providing an overview of the routing of calls and with our business strongly developing in parallel in Asia, it is therefore only natural that we turned to them.”

Signed at the end of June 2008, the project was launched in October the same year - very tight deadlines, even though the project also required the development of infrastructure across the globe. To address the problem of congestion an MPLS network and an IP Telephony system was deployed and integrated between France and the Philippines. The telephony system involved the establishment of 300 posts, with 150 Cisco phones in 2 call centres in the Philippines being linked to an IP PBX in France, a voice gateway ISDN as well as probes and a Cisco monitoring server to measure call quality.

goFLUENT reaps many benefits from this newly established infrastructure by using it for data services, thereby improving the end user’s experience on the Internet. This pooling of network services for the management of data and voice traffic has been made possible by NTT Communications’ effective management of the Quality of Service (QoS) on the MPLS network.

This new system has also enabled goFLUENT to significantly improve its own service quality with the failure rate of calls due to technical difficulties dropping from a previous 20% to 0.5% since the introduction of the new infrastructure. This is due to the system being scaled up to pass 300 calls simultaneously.

"The real value of NTT on this project was the ability to successfully provide and manage 6 offerings including the local loop in the Philippines, the local loop in France, the international loop, managed hosting, Internet access service provision and the overall service management (development, maintenance and 24/7 supervision). This was a real plus because providers that effectively offer consolidation services, and not just off-the-shelf services, are extremely rare” commented Gendre.

A flexible and dedicated infrastructure

Alongside the proposed telecommunications infrastructure goFLUENT looked at another challenge: improving the availability and performance of their information system.

goFLUENT launched a new tender in late 2008 for the provision of 24/7 managed hosting services that could be geographically dispersed across the globe. The supplier needed to provide sufficient computing power and storage capacity as well as the flexibility to adapt the size of the architecture according to goFLUENT’s changing activities.

Once again NTT Europe won the tender and now supplies goFLUENT with not only a 100% dedicated, managed hosting solution but also maximum security for the preservation of sensitive data, an 8% increase in performance of the critical scheduling system and a scalable, highly available environment.

With new architecture in place and NTT Europe as an ICT solutions partner, goFLUENT is in a position to effectively manage future business development, including expansion in Japan in the coming months.