Sports Direct's IT infrastructure boss Nick Denton this week spoke of the importance of ensuring rapid implementation of business applications when expanding into new territories and acquiring new companies.

The sports equipment retailer is looking to further develop its business outside of the UK through organic growth and acquisitions, adding to the 19 European countries in which it currently operates. Denton suggested it is crucial to work with the right technology firms.

The head of IT infrastucture's comments came as the retailer announced it was extending its partnership with managed services provider Easynet, having worked alongside the business since 2009.

"We chose to continue our collaboration with Easynet given their proven track record in our sector, as well as with us," Denton explained.

"They have proved that they are capable of resolving our business challenges by creating flexible and innovative solutions. Furthermore they are one of the few global managed service providers that can deliver a managed 'wires only' multiprotocol label switching service with simple network management protocol access support.

"One of the conditions for contract renewal was the requirement for excellent levels of service delivery. This is important to us as our acquisition plans demand a speedy roll-out of business critical applications into the new businesses."

Sports Direct has ambitions to expand into all major European Economic Area countries over the next five years, and the Easynet system provides specific connectivity links to the company's regional headquarters, as well as technical performance monitoring.

Adrian Thirkill, Easynet's UK managing director for Global Services, commented: "We are able to offer them managed network solutions globally, and we are also able to respond to the growing need for technology-based in-store client support with solutions to help them deliver a fantastic, differentiated customer experience, such as in-store Wi-Fi coverage, in-store video-solutions and enhanced security all-in-one."

Sports Direct recently launched its brand in Australia and New Zealand, via an online online partnership with MySale Group's It will also run three flagship stores in Australia and one in New Zealand to serve these new markets.

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