Manufacturing

Low & Bonar Replace Global MPLS with Cato SASE Service from IPknowledge

MPLS Migration to SD-WAN
Optimized Global Connectivity

From traditional WAN to global network in the Cloud

Organizations are constantly on the move. But to be agile, having a flexible network infrastructure is crucial. This certainly applies to organizations such as Low & Bonar, who have international offices and do business all over the world. Mergers and acquisitions have completely changed the business environment within a few years and have created challenges in the areas of costs, management, and digital performance.

International WAN Challenges

Was it wise to continue the relationship with the telecom company, which was chosen in 2013? With this question, the preparation of a quotation request to several suppliers started in 2018. One thing was certain, namely that the world of international infrastructures had completely changed. It had to be done better, faster and above all cheaper. Due to acquisitions from the past, the L&B IT infrastructure contained a relatively large number of different systems and applications, which resulted in a high management burden. Low & Bonar uses, amongst other things, an Oracle (JD Edwards) ERP system that is hosted on centralized servers in Arnhem. The Intex ERP system is also used for specific business processes (weaving industry). SAP ERP is also used. Other important business applications are also hosted in the central data center in Arnhem.

In addition, its own IT department was too dependent on the current supplier. “Creating new locations or change requests did not always go smoothly,” is how Paul Visscher, Head of Infrastructure and Security at Low & Bonar, puts it. The performance of the international network was also very different between the countries. For example, in China, the data first passes through a firewall controlled by the Chinese state.

A dedicated bandwidth was needed here anyway, but later it turned out there was an even better alternative.

Making choices for the right solution

It soon became clear that this time it was not about simply renewing the MPLS network of the telecom provider. Partly due to the new possibilities of SD-WAN technology, there suddenly appeared to be many options. MPLS, Internet and even wireless (4G) connections in combination with various SD-WAN technologies.

For Paul Visscher there was something else that was important, namely the ‘co-managed’ model offered by IPknowledge and Cato. As a result, the control and direction of the WAN came primarily by himself and, without management costs. “As a result, I literally have flexibility and scalability in control, which is better for us than a fully managed environment of a traditional CSP, Communication Service Provider or Telco,” he explains….

Read the complete case study to learn more about Low & Bonar’s experience and lessons learned while deploying Cato and working with IPknowledge.

Available in Dutch here.

quotes
"I literally have flexibility and scalability in control, which is better for us than a fully managed environment of a traditional CSP, Communication Service Provider or Telco."
Paul Visscher ,Head of Infrastructure and Security, Low & Bonar

About Low & Bonar

Low and Bonar (L&B) is a world leader in high-performance materials in a variety of industrial and civil engineering applications with factories in America, Europe, the Middle East, and China. The company’s network spanned more than a dozen locations connected by global MPLS. Due to acquisitions, the company’s infrastructure contained many different systems and applications.