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SKILLED Group retains Riverbed for Australia-wide deployment

  • 08 July, 2008 08:24

<p>Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD), the technology and market leader in wide-area data services (WDS), today announced that recruitment company SKILLED Group has selected Riverbed® Steelhead® appliances - including its Steelhead Mobile client software - for installation at up to 170 sites across Australia. The deployment will allow significant reduction in wide area network (WAN) bandwidth usage and costs, accelerate application performance across the network and allow SKILLED Group to save money by consolidating IT infrastructure.</p>
<p>SKILLED Group is Australia’s leading provider of staffing services providing skilled and semi-skilled staff for industries including mining and resources, oil and gas, transport, health, manufacturing and food. It has 170 offices scattered throughout Australia ranging in size from two to 200 people. As such, the organisation needed a flexible solution which suited sites of all sizes.</p>
<p>“The Riverbed Steelhead Mobile PC client acceleration software was a critical component of the solution for us,” says Leigh Berrell, Group Manager IT Strategy and Architecture, SKILLED Group. “The Steelhead Mobile PC client was exactly what we needed to serve offices with just a few people. It worked as well as Riverbed said it would during the proof of concept and is already helping workers in far-flung locations boost their productivity.”</p>
<p>For a company that manages up to 60,000 employees, staff productivity and network performance are critical. Before installing the Riverbed appliances, the company realised it was fast approaching capacity on its WAN. As the WAN is used to support the weekly timesheet processing of 25,000 employees, maintaining performance is a key concern. SKILLED Group is currently deploying a new ERP system and was concerned that any network congestion would impact that system’s performance. Berrell says this is when the company decided Wide Area Data Services (WDS) was the answer.</p>
<p>“Our new ERP system needs to run efficiently across the WAN,” he says. “Any performance problems suffered at remote locations would affect user productivity. Instead of buying more bandwidth, we decided acceleration through WDS was a better way to go. We did some market research and spoke to a few companies who had gone down the same path, and Riverbed came out at the top of the list. After putting out a request for tender, we went through an evaluation process and, again, Riverbed emerged as the clear leader for what we needed.”</p>
<p>A trial of the Riverbed Steelhead appliances then followed, with SKILLED Group installing devices at its data centre, a state head office and a small office. Berrell says the outcome lived up to their expectations, with the company’s bandwidth utilisation dropping by more than half for those locations.</p>
<p>“We saw a large data reduction for both WAN connections we tested,” he says. “We also got some very positive feedback from users who noticed a dramatic improvement in application performance across the optimised network. Even some of our IT people felt the appliances had made a real difference to their workload – and IT folk can be very skeptical of new products.”</p>
<p>Berrell says the support from both Riverbed and Riverbed partner, O2 Networks, which installed the appliances, has been excellent.</p>
<p>“One of the reasons we went with Riverbed was because we felt they and O2 Networks were providing very good support and information,” says Berrell. “It was a very positive experience dealing with both companies throughout the proof of concept and this has continued since we began the implementation. They have gone out of their way to ensure the process is painless.”</p>
<p>An unexpected benefit for SKILLED Group was the detailed network reporting and visibility that Riverbed Steelhead appliances have provided. This has allowed SKILLED to fine-tune the network better than ever.</p>
<p>“We’ve managed to detect and resolve subtle issues more easily - such as intermittent telco line quality problems that were causing data retransmission for some sites - which used to be harder to identify before the Riverbed deployment.”</p>
<p>SKILLED Group is currently rolling out the first phase of the implementation to 35 sites. The second phase rollout will allow the company to eliminate up to 50 file servers from remote locations, and enable the organisation to save money through consolidation of IT infrastructure.</p>
<p>“We used to be a very distributed organisation in terms of IT infrastructure because it simply wasn’t feasible to run things like large backups and print servers over the network,” Berrell explains. “The Riverbed Steelhead appliances are allowing us to change our IT model to drive ongoing cost savings and achieve simpler management and, because download times are a fraction of what they once were, people are more motivated to use products such as SharePoint, which again centralises critical information and improves collaboration.”</p>
<p>About SKILLED Group
SKILLED Group Limited is Australia and New Zealand’s leading provider of labour hire and staffing services. SKILLED Group has over 170 offices across Australasia with annualised revenues around $2 billion. SKILLED Group partners with clients to improve their workforce efficiency, increase productivity levels and provides staffing services to the industrial and healthcare sectors. SKILLED is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX: SKE) and has approximately 6,200 shareholders, predominantly in Australia. Additional information about SKILLED Group is available at www.skilledgroup.com.au</p>
<p>Steelhead Products
Riverbed’s WDS solutions enable organizations of all sizes to overcome a host of severe problems, including poor application performance and insufficient bandwidth at remote sites. By speeding the performance of applications between data centres, remote offices and mobile workers by five to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times, Riverbed’s award-winning Steelhead WDS products enable companies to consolidate IT, improve backup and replication processes to ensure data integrity, and improve staff productivity and collaboration. Steelhead products have been deployed in organizations ranging from the world’s largest corporations with offices around the globe to small companies with a couple of sites that are just miles apart. To learn more, view Riverbed’s demo: www.riverbed.com/pr/jack.</p>
<p>Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the expected demand for Riverbed's products and services, and statements relating to Riverbed’s ability to meet the needs of distributed organizations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include our ability to react to trends and challenges in our business and the markets in which we operate; our ability to anticipate market needs or develop new or enhanced products to meet those needs; the adoption rate of our products; our ability to establish and maintain successful relationships with our distribution partners; our ability to compete in our industry; fluctuations in demand, sales cycles and prices for our products and services; shortages or price fluctuations in our supply chain; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights; general political, economic and market conditions and events; and other risks and uncertainties described more fully in our documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. More information about these and other risks that may impact Riverbed’s business are set forth in our Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on April 29, 2008. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Any future product, feature or related specification that may be referenced in this release are for information purposes only and are not commitments to deliver any technology or enhancement. Riverbed reserves the right to modify future product plans at any time.</p>
<p>About Riverbed
Riverbed Technology is the technology and market leader in wide-area data services (WDS) solutions for companies worldwide. By enabling application performance over the wide area network (WAN) that is orders of magnitude faster than what users experience today, Riverbed is changing the way people work, and enabling a distributed workforce that can collaborate as if they were local. Additional information about Riverbed (Nasdaq: RVBD) is available at www.riverbed.com.</p>
<p>Riverbed Technology, Riverbed, Steelhead, RiOS, Interceptor, and the Riverbed logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Riverbed Technology, Inc. All other trademarks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.</p>

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