Train operator East Coast has appointed O2 Unify to consolidate its IT and communications infrastructure in a deal said to be worth £2.6 million.

O2 has been awarded a three year contract to oversee a refresh and redesign of infrastructure across 23 sites owned by East Coast across England and Scotland.  The rail company seeks to drive operational efficiencies to save up to £1 million over the term of the contract.

The project will involve updating WAN and LAN networks, upgrading the company’s IPT systems to include unified communications and moving 1,600 mobile phones over to O2’s network.

New security systems and processes will enhance PCI compliance, while Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking will allow the company to deliver travel information to passengers.

East Coast will also partner with other parts of O2’s parent company Telefónica, allowing the mobile operator’s media team to engage with customers through mobile devices.

“As a business, we were looking to simplify the way that we ran our communications in order to make savings,” said East Coast Finance Director Tim Kavanagh, “but we also wanted to streamline our processes to create easier, more user-friendly systems that benefit East Coast employees and our customers.”

“O2 offered us a simple solution to our needs, and this, combined with its strong background in the transport sector, means we know we are in safe hands going forward.”

Paul Osborne, Managing Director of O2 Unify, said that the East Coast contract highlights ongoing moves by O2 to get away from providing only mobile offerings and towards enterprise IT and communications services.

“This win demonstrates how our strong service culture and customer focus from our core mobile business is continuing to put us in a very strong position to provide wider communications services,” said Osborne.

“We presented East Coast with an over-arching solution to its mobile, IPT and network needs and identified where we could deliver significant savings,” he continued. “Through our past work with Network Rail, we demonstrated that we had a deep understanding of the sector and showcased our ability to deliver complex solutions which will join the business together.”

Last year O2 won a contract with Network Rail to provide support and maintenance, as well as replacing Cisco network hardware across 450 sites.