ao-logo-jpg-1Metronet (UK) first started working with AO in 2011, when the company’s current connectivity infrastructure was not robust or scalable enough to keep the business growing at the speed that was required. Today, Metronet (UK) provide AO with a comprehensive service solution including diverse high-capacity Fixed Wireless and Ethernet Fibre connectivity to their key sites in the UK, along with best of breed Ethernet & Fixed Wireless at over a dozen UK based depots

Background

Founded in 2000 as an online kitchen appliance retailer by John Roberts, AO has subsequently expanded into one of the leading electrical retailers in the UK. With a mission of becoming the best electrical retailer in Europe, AO now retails in Germany and more recently has opened up in the Netherlands. Resulting in a European workforce of over 2500 people.

AO’s commercial success has been fully supported by their continued commitment to service quality and customer service, they value their customers and work to be exceptional in the moments that matter to them and also to their staff.

The operational backbone of the business includes their Bolton head office, a logistics centre and warehouse in Crewe and a 360,000sqft headquarters in Germany as well a number of out bases across the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Challenge

Metronet (UK) first started working with AO in 2011, when the company’s current connectivity infrastructure was not robust or scalable enough to keep the business growing at the speed that was required.

Adam Warne, Group IT Director at AO explains, “We needed a dynamic and scalable IT infrastructure which would push the business forward. To us, business and technology are the same thing, our business is a technology and if our technology fails then our business fails.”

Adam has been working at AO for the past decade and has seen the company change and grow from strength to strength to develop into the business that it is today.

“It is fundamental to keep our business in real-time for our customers, from providing them with constant up to date prices to by the minute delivery information. The only way we can do this is by having robust IT connectivity and we rely on our technology suppliers to provide this.”

The Solution

Metronet (UK) provided AO with a complete and fully managed network, which has grown from a single connection back in 2011.

“Metronet (UK) were able to deliver the robust, flexible and scalable connectivity infrastructure that we needed,” continued Adam, “not only that, they were also able to supply it in the timeframe that was required. The wireless technology is very dynamic and provides everything we need, it gives us the freedom and unrestricted growth so the business is ready for the future. We have run our entire business purely on wireless technology as we have full confidence in the solution.”

When it came time for AO to move their head office to their current base on Parklands in Bolton they wanted the diversity of both wireless and fibre connectivity in this new location. Metronet (UK) were their first option to be the supplier. Metronet (UK) then also went on to provide cutting edge 2Gbps wireless radio technology for AO’s new digital video suite based in Manchester, the technology is integral to the running of the studio and AO are one of the first customers to benefit from this high capacity.

Today, Metronet (UK) provide AO with a comprehensive service solution including diverse high-capacity Fixed Wireless and Ethernet Fibre connectivity to their key sites in the UK, along with best of breed Ethernet & Fixed Wireless at over a dozen UK based depots. In addition, Metronet (UK) has extended the MPLS network to both Germany and the Netherlands by leveraging a European data centre footprint and local last mile providers. Finally, Metronet (UK) overlay VoIP, Colocation and a dedicated Security solution across AO’s Pan-European MPLS network.

The Benefits

There were a number of reasons that AO chose to work with Metronet (UK), not only was it due to their advanced technology but also the ongoing support infrastructure that was supplied along with the solution.

Adam explained, “Metronet (UK) is known as a bit of a legend to our staff, the support function is already extremely good but it also just keeps getting better and better. On the rare occasion that a problem occurs, they are the only supplier who tell us about it and what they’ve done to mitigate the impact before we even know ourselves.”

Both companies also share many of the same values, the can do attitude and right first time ethos is what has led to remarkable growth for both.

“Metronet (UK) has provided us with exactly what we need for our business. The fact that we have one local provider for all our connectivity needs is really important to us, there is one point of call which makes our lives easier and any requirements are sorted out within a quick time. The solution provides us with the ability to dynamically switch between the different types of technology if needed, meaning there is never any downtime for our business, this is essential for us.

Adam finished, “Metronet (UK) has really set the bar high within their industry, there is no other provider out there who can match them. They are really flexible to our needs – we are fast paced at everything we do, our business never stops and neither does Metronet (UK). We wouldn’t be able to grow our business in the way we do without the support from them.”