Ford PAG units Jaguar and Land Rover have implemented a new Wide Area Network (WAN) connection between their West Midlands based Gaydon, Solihull and Whitley sites, allowing larger quantities of data to be transferred between working teams so they can collaborate more effectively.

The WAN connection will offer product development greater flexibility to receive and send large file formats such as three dimensional design models and crash simulations. Previously, high volumes of data were transferred overnight, delaying the flow of information. With the potential to reduce hardware and rationalise disk space to a single site, the new WAN connection will also facilitate cost savings.

The connection has been increased some 44 times over the existing network and now delivers 4000 times more capacity than a home broadband connection. The design team employed technology normally the preserve of telecommunications firms like BT and NTL. A predicted growth in network traffic and the need for the Gaydon and Whitley based design centres to exchange product development data across sites and brands, influenced the restructure.

Kevin Timms, IT Director, Jaguar and Land Rover, said: "Our new high capacity WAN will help enable computer aided design data exchange between sites. This will simplify the working relationship of product development and the IT architecture that supports this and other teams. Several application teams have already noticed the increase in performance, including pipeline ordering who schedule vehicles for build."

The project saw Jaguar and Land Rover collaborate with Ford IT infrastructure and suppliers during the 12 months needed to create and implement the new platform. The two companies will invest in excess of £8million in the new WAN connection over five years.

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