Rent-A-Center Signs $34 Million Agreement for Verizon Business to Modernize Company's North American Network



    
    New IP Infrastructure Provides Consistent Delivery of Critical
Applications

    
    BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Sept. 8 /CNW/ - Rent-A-Center, the largest
rent-to-own operator in the United States, is transforming many of its
business operations by tapping the power of an Internet protocol (IP) network
provided by Verizon Business under a new three-year, $34 million agreement.
    

    
    The Private IP network enables Rent-A-Center - which leases furniture,
consumer electronics and other appliances, with an option to buy them - to
standardize delivery of a wide range of internal business applications to the
company's more than 19,000 employees across more than 3,000 retail locations
in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.  The new MPLS-based network also powers
Rent-A-Center's in-store employment kiosks, as well as the company's Web-based
management training program.  The company previously employed network access
from multiple service providers.
    

    
    "IP is helping Rent-A-Center transform business operations in many ways,"
said Robert Rapp, the company's chief technology officer.  "IP is driving
improved efficiency and the ability to reliably deliver applications
ubiquitously to all of our branch locations, using a single platform.  With a
strong network foundation in place, Rent-A-Center is now focusing on new
initiatives that will further enhance our productivity and enable the company
and its employees to better serve our customers."
    

    
    In addition to streamlining network management, the new IP-based
infrastructure helps enhance Rent-A-Center's in-house network security and
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance programs by
reducing the number of access points and consolidating data onto a single
platform, making it easier to secure, analyze and store information.  The PCI
DSS, established by the PCI Security Standards Council, is a set of
comprehensive requirements for enhancing payment account data security.
    

    
    Verizon Business professional consultants worked closely with
Rent-A-Center staff to design a highly reliable and secure network for the
retailer's thousands of store locations.  Verizon Business project management
staff then coordinated onsite deployment activities and seamlessly
transitioned 3,000 Rent-A-Center retail locations.
    

    
    "The success of this project underscores the close working relationship
between Rent-A-Center and Verizon Business that has developed over the years,"
said Stephen P. Young, Verizon Business senior vice president for corporate
and government sales.  "This kind of partnership highlights the benefits
Verizon Business delivers - a solution that's highly available, flexible and
backed by world-class networking assets, leading technical knowledge and
superior professional services capabilities."
    

    
    Rent-A-Center is also outsourcing to Verizon Business day-to-day
monitoring management and maintenance of its IP PBX voice system and the wide-
and local-area networks serving the company's corporate headquarters.  This
frees up Rent-A-Center's technical staff to focus on supporting its
mission-critical applications for human resource, enterprise resource planning
and financial functions, while providing 24-by-7 support for the company's
communications infrastructure.
    

    
    Verizon Business offers a broad portfolio of IP-based services to enable
companies to meet business objectives and manage complex networks and critical
applications.  Verizon Business' comprehensive offerings, available on a
managed or do-it-yourself basis, can be combined to create effective solutions
to fulfill the requirements of enterprises of any size, in any industry.
    

    About Rent-A-Center
    
    Rent-A-Center, Inc., headquartered in Plano, Texas, currently operates
approximately 3,049 company-owned stores nationwide and in Canada and Puerto
Rico. The stores generally offer high-quality, durable goods such as major
consumer electronics, appliances, computers and furniture and accessories
under flexible rental purchase agreements that generally allow the customer to
obtain ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed upon rental
period. ColorTyme, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Rent-A-Center, is a
national franchiser of approximately 215 rent-to-own stores operating under
the trade name of "ColorTyme."
    

    About Verizon Business
    
    Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE:   VZ), operates
the world's most connected public IP network and uses its industry-leading
global-network capabilities to offer large-business and government customers
an unmatched combination of security, reliability and speed.  The company
integrates advanced IP communications and information technology (IT) products
and services to deliver leading enterprise solutions including managed
services, security, mobility, collaboration and professional services.  These
solutions power innovation and enable the company's customers to do business
better. For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.
    


    
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For further information:

For further information: Kevin W. Irland, +1-703-886-1117,
kevin.w.irland@verizon.com Web Site: http://www.verizonbusiness.com

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