News

BT builds new IT network for Walgreens Boots Alliance

DC16-084 (22 February 2016)

BT achieves first milestones in the delivery of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s new IT network

BT today announced that it has recently connected the first sites of the new IT network for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s European businesses.

The achievement of this milestone follows the recent signing of a five-year IT partnership, under which BT is upgrading and expanding the IT infrastructure for Walgreens Boots Alliance, the parent company of wholesaler Alliance Healthcare and leading health and beauty retailer Boots.

Once completed, the new BT-managed IT network will serve around 3,500 Boots locations and Alliance Healthcare wholesale and distribution sites across Europe and Asia (Thailand).

The newly connected sites in the UK and Norway represent one of the first steps in Walgreens Boots Alliance’s IT transformation programme. It will immediately benefit the company by providing improved performance and reliability to support key business systems and applications. BT will work with Walgreens Boots Alliance to develop and introduce new digital technologies across its businesses. These will help further boost employee productivity, improve customer service and foster innovation.

BT will provide connectivity into Walgreens Boots Alliance’s own data centres (or “clouds”), as well as those operated by third parties hosting the company’s business applications and data. This will allow the company to benefit from BT’s new “Cloud of Clouds” approach to IT, giving the company more control over the performance of its cloud-based applications regardless of where they’re hosted. By taking this approach and allowing employees to access these services via a single, managed BT network all the way from the data centre to their devices, Walgreens Boots Alliance will benefit from end-to-end security and reliable applications performance.

The company will also deploy a range of different network access technologies for Boots’ flagship stores in the UK. These stores will benefit from dedicated fibre Ethernet services while other stores will use “Ethernet in the First Mile”, superfast broadband and copper-based broadband solutions. These technologies will give stores the bandwidth they need for the smooth and reliable performance of their day-to-day operations as well as the capacity to manage peaks in business demand.

Digital innovation is a key area of investment for our company. Our new IT platform, provided by BT, will help us to further improve the customer experience and our colleagues’ productivity, while enabling us to provide innovative services that will help us continue to meet our customers’ ever changing health and beauty needs.”
- Erwin van Vroenhoven, vice president, global IT shared services, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Emer Timmons, president, strategic deals and customer engagement, BT Global Services, said: “Our new agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance is built on our world class service delivery, global reach and a shared appetite for innovation. We will provide seamless connectivity to underpin almost every part of the business, from delivering great retail customer experiences to enabling knowledge sharing and collaboration for new product development.

“Our success in winning this new deal reflects the value of our ongoing network investments and confirms our position as a market leader in global connectivity.”

About Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

The company was created through the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014, bringing together two leading companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted health care services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years.

The company employs more than 370,000* people and has a presence in more than 25* countries; it is the largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination in the USA and Europe. Including its equity method investments, Walgreens Boots Alliance is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail with over 13,100* stores in 11* countries. The company includes one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks with over 350* distribution centers delivering to more than 200,000** pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals each year in 19* countries. In addition, Walgreens Boots Alliance is one of the world’s largest purchasers of prescription drugs and many other health and wellbeing products.

Its portfolio of retail and business brands includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots and Alliance Healthcare, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands, such as No7, Botanics, Liz Earle and Soap & Glory. More company information is available at http://www.walgreensbootsalliance.com/.

* As at 31 August 2015 including equity method investments
** For 12 months ended 31 August 2015 including equity method investments

For further information

Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News