News Release

Towers-Perrin Business Administration Services Unit Connects with Global Customers over Cisco Infrastructure

Cisco Enterprise Networking Solutions Enable Seamless
Dec 16, 1998

Cisco Enterprise Networking Solutions Enable Seamless Connectivity for Better Productivity and Increased Efficiencies

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- December 16, 1998 -- Cisco Systems, Inc., announced today that it has been selected to provide high-performance multilayer switching solutions to Towers Perrin Business Administration Services Unit (BAS), a leading outsourcing vendor for employee benefits. By using Cisco's Enterprise solutions, Towers Perrin BAS will be able to use its network for increases in productivity and enhance its world-class customer service.

During the evaluation process which was begun only eight months ago, Towers Perrin BAS surveyed its existing systems, which included nearly 4000 end stations, and determined that in order to continue competing on a global scale, it needed better connectivity that would scale up to meet both current and future demands. With two high-volume call-centers, the new infrastructure had to be flexible, reliable, and scalable to next-generation technologies such as integrated data, voice and video applications once they become available. Cisco was the provider which best met all these requirements.

"Previously, our Token Ring network was having difficulties keeping pace with business demands, regularly running at near capacity. To continue providing our clients with timely and valuable services, we decided to move forward with a new state-of-the-art connectivity solution," said Wayne Guymon, Direct of Technology for Towers Perrin BAS. "We have since begun our global infrastructure rollout with Cisco equipment and have already seen a large increase in productivity and ultimately, customer satisfaction."

The Towers Perrin BAS backbone was designed using Cisco's Fast EtherChannel. technology to tie Catalyst. 5500s together. In addition to load-balancing and resiliency, this architecture provides nearly 800 megabits of high performance bandwidth and can be scaled to gigabit speeds when necessary. Towers Perrin BAS is also taking advantage of Cisco's multilayer solution by integrating Route Switch Modules inside Catalyst 5500s to provide support for Virtual LANs, Hot Standby Routing Protocol (HSRP), Spanning Tree and the full suite of Cisco IOS. software routing functionality. In the future, the firm will evaluate gigabit Ethernet and where necessary, gigabit EtherChannel.

In addition to the backbone, Towers Perrin BAS also evaluated both wiring closet and WAN solutions. For the wiring closet, Towers Perrin BAS opted to install Catalyst 5500's because of the need for high-density 10/100 connectivity, flexibility and a forward migration path that would avoid a forklift upgrade later. For its WAN links, it has deployed Route Switch Modules inside the Catalyst 5500s with OC3 ports to tie its call centers together.

Because of the Catalyst's support for HSRP, redundant supervisor engines, power supplies and Fast EtherChannel, Towers Perrin BAS was able to eliminate every single point of failure in the network which has resulted in continuous up-time.

"With Towers Perrin BAS, they had an extremely aggressive schedule which required Cisco to work closely with them to deploy a high-performance network for today and the future," said Soni Jiandani, senior director of marketing in the Enterprise Line of Business. "It is great to see the results of true teamwork as they now are implementing this intelligent architecture world-wide which will ultimately enable them to maximize their resources and compete in an Internet-based economy."

About Towers Perrin

Towers Perrin is one of the world's largest management and human resources consulting firms. It helps its clients achieve competitive advantage by working with them to manage their investment in people, providing advice and counsel on retirement and health and welfare benefit programs, pay programs and executive compensation, employee communications, organizational effectiveness and performance and reward systems. The firm, which has more than 7600 employees in 82 offices worldwide, also offers the full range of benefit administration services, including fully outsourced benefit administration. Towers Perrin's clients include 710 of the Fortune 1000 companies in the United States and 325 of the Fortune 500 Global companies.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

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