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Issue of July 2006 
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Gati on the WAN-VoIP highway

GATI, the express cargo player, has gone the WAN way to connect over 400 locations (120 through terrestrial links and the remaining through Remote Access Server [RAS] or through the Internet) across the country for running centralised Web-based applications. With a network of over 400 offices, GATI services 594 districts in India.

With the objective of staying ahead of competition in service delivery, GATI upgraded its legacy network and built an integrated communications architecture that can run ERP, CRM and warehouse management systems along with other Web-based services.

The 400 GATI office locations were distributed under 11 major concentration points and nearly 120 locations would connect to these concentration points. All other locations connect through RAS or through the Internet to the central servers for carrying out online transactions. All the concentration points are connected through a VPN service provider.

In addition to data traffic, GATI Net also runs the VoIP solution over Cisco IP Phones and Call Manager for connecting domestic as well as international locations. A key constraint that GATI faced was that most of its physical locations were situated outside the city limits where it was difficult to get terrestrial links as well as maintain high uptime. With the new solution, Cisco IP phones are being used in remote areas over VSATs. Besides easing inter and intra office communication, the Cisco IP phones also facilitate the central help desk for GATI’s internal customers.

Being an early adopter of technology, the organisation implemented a web-based ERP solution in 2003—GATI Enterprise Management System (GEMS)—that runs on a centralised architecture and ensures seamless information flow across all locations. The network integrates all key solutions like GEMS and CRM, and supports other applications such as the warehouse management system, centralised mail server (Lotus Notes) and an interactive customer portal.

 
     
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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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