Minimizing costs is key for any successful company. Within the highly controlled industry of plastic solutions, it can be difficult to reduce costs while preserving quality.
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Sumitomo Bakelite High Performance Plastic Products Europe (SBHPP) had to rethink ways they could facilitate efficient remote work while reducing costs at the group level. The company is a major player in the world chemical sector and employs 260 people across three sites in Europe. Its IT team thought to modify their MPLS network, which connected their production sites to their external data center in Belgium.
VMware and Agisko Provide an Alternative
With cost reduction as the most important factor in replacing the MPLS, VMware SD-WAN quickly appeared as the leading alternative, as it would reduce monthly costs for data lines by at least 60 percent. With VMware SD-WAN, SBHPP could be less dependent on a single provider while maintaining at least the same stability in data traffic.
“What won us over, in addition to the cost reduction, in choosing VMware SD-WAN was the greater independence it offered. We are no longer tied to one provider and can now even work with multiple providers simultaneously,” said Mark Renders, European ICT Coordinator of the SBHPP.
SBHPP initially placed orders for VMware SD-WAN Edge devices through a hardware partner, before finding the implementation process difficult to coordinate across borders. They then searched for a partner through VMware Benelux, and found trusted digital workspace partner Agisko. This integrator was the first partner in Benelux to attain the VMware Master Services Competence Digital Workspace certificate, and has expertise in application transition as well as infrastructure and security. Agisko engineers rolled out the new solution quickly and efficiently.
Drastically Reducing Costs while Increasing Scalability
Together, VMware and Agisko helped SBHPP expand WAN bandwidth, differentiate traffic, and increase network flexibility. Each European site now hosts two VMware SD-WAN Edge devices while working with at least two providers. In addition to more independence, this also provides more stability. Moreover, the solution allows SBHPP to combine internet lines and merge bandwidths in much less time.
“The new setup works faster. Copying data to the data center is effectively faster. Ping tests prove this. Previously the speed was 14 ms, now it’s only eight ms,” said Renders. Additionally, the network is much easier to operate from a remote setting. “From anywhere and any device we can remotely control our SD-WAN Edge devices. In the past only the MPLS provider saw what was wrong. With this SD-WAN solution and the portal we have a great overview and notice immediately if something is wrong. Any possible issues are solved more quickly because we are in direct contact with the local providers.”
Exactly how much did SBHPP save? They used to pay over €10,000 a month on data lines, but with VMware SD-WAN, they now pay only €4,000 a month. Their investment on this new solution will be paid off in just one year and eight months.
To learn more about how VMware helped SBHPP reduce costs while improving overall performance, read the full case study.