Colt secures 'major financial customers' for managed IP VPN service

Oct. 21, 2003
21 October 2003 London Lightwave Europe -- COLT Telecom Group says it has strengthened its position in the European IP Virtual Private Network market, having signed over 300 of SWIFT's financial services members across Europe in just eightmonths.

21 October 2003 London -- COLT Telecom Group says it has strengthened its position in the European IP Virtual Private Network market, having signed over 300 of SWIFT's financial services members across Europe in just eightmonths.

COLT has a multi-million euro contract with SWIFT, which is the industry-owned cooperative supplying secure messaging services and interface software to 7,000 financial institutions in 198 countries. For example, SWIFT carried over 1.5 billion messages in 2001. The average daily value of payment messages on SWIFT is estimated to be above USD 6 trillion.

The organisation provides messaging services to banks, broker/dealers and investment managers, as well as to market infrastructures in payments, treasury, securities and trade. These services help customers reduce costs, improve automation and manage risk.

COLT says it has secured more SWIFT customers across Europe than its competitors. These wins have allowed COLT to increase its IP VPN customer base in Europe by 75%, taking the total number of customers to around 700 in just two years.

COLT supplies its members with managed IP VPN services, to provide a reliable and secure link to the Secure IP Network that underpins the SWIFTNet messaging platform. SWIFTNet is an IP-based messaging platform, which allows SWIFT's financial services members to engage in the reliable and secure transmission of critical financial information and transaction data, such as bank payments, reports, and securities information.

Steve Akin, COLT President and CEO, said, "We're experiencing huge demand for IP VPN services from financial services companies, as the solution is ideally suited to companies with multi-branch offices, a geographically dispersed workforce and a need for the fast and secure delivery of data.

"Through our partnership with SWIFT, we have been able to substantially increase our IP VPN customer base in Europe and are well placed to further bolster our position in this market."

Valued at EUR1.9bn in Western Europe in 2002, the IP VPN market is forecast to grow by 83% in Europe in 2003.1 COLT's managed IP VPN solution for SWIFTNet is based on MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) technology.

This allows financial customers to benefit from enhanced levels of security and scalable network architecture, while allowing them to prioritise the delivery of mission critical applications over the network. The majority of COLT's customers are now demanding MPLS as part of their IP VPN solution.

Didier Verstichel, head of Worldwide Networks, SWIFT commented, "With COLT counting 11 of Europe's 13 stock exchanges and some of the world's biggest financial companies as customers, we were assured of its ability to migrate our customers to SWIFTNet. With COLT as their network partner, our customers benefit from faster provisioning of services, excellent customer service and competitively priced products."

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