Case study SD-WAN

200+ Sites, 16 Months to ROI: Michelin Connects with VMware SD-WAN

Updated 1/10/2023

Michelin is one of the VMware SD-WAN customer stories we are highlighting in our new eBook, Why Modern Enterprises Need SD-WAN. The eBook explains how SD-WAN helps companies shift from a centralized to a distributed model of applications and work and meet the needs of highly distributed,
latency-sensitive workloads, apps and devices at the edge.

As Michelin’s CTO says, “Once you’ve had a taste of SD-WAN, you can’t do without it!”

  • Michelin chose VMware SD-WAN delivered through VMware partner AT&T for greater control over their WAN
  • VMware SD-WAN serves more than 120,000 employees around the world “with peace of mind and on an optimized budget,” says Michelin CTO
  • Michelin can prioritize business apps, optimize traffic flow, and achieve the best balance of cost and performance

France-based Michelin is best known for their vehicle tires and Michelin Guides, which began as a way to create demand for automobiles and quickly became an iconic handbook of the best restaurants in the world. In 2016, the world leader in tires began to see the need for a world-class network as they moved on-premises collaborative applications to software-as-a-service solutions.

The move to SaaS “had the effect of doubling our bandwidth requirements,” said Pauline Flament, Michelin’s Chief Technology Officer. Since 2016, “every 12 or 18 months we have to increase this capacity by almost 100%, which is both a technical and a financial issue.”

The company had relied on MPLS networks for their WAN. Prices were high because there was little competition, and it was very difficult to scale capacity to the level that Michelin needed.

“My responsibility as CTO is to provide Michelin’s businesses with the most efficient IT and network services at the lowest cost. The deployment of our SD-WAN in 16 months at more than 200 sites worldwide now allows us to provide nearly 120,000 users with all the bandwidth they need to work with peace of mind and on an optimized budget.”

Pauline Flament, Chief Technology Officer, Michelin

Cost savings and visibility with VMware SD-WAN

After evaluating hybrid network technologies, Michelin chose VMware SD-WAN™, delivered through VMware partner AT&T. One of Michelin’s goals was to have greater control over their WAN and not be locked in to one bandwidth source.

“I didn’t make a technology choice,” said Flament. “I simply started from my need. I was solution and integrator agnostic. My objective was to equip myself with a wide area network management solution that would allow me to be autonomous, both technically and economically.”

VMware SD-WAN has been deployed at more than 200 Michelin sites around the world, serving more than 120,000 employees. Michelin can now combine bandwidth sources, including MPLS and Internet links, to achieve the best balance of cost and performance.

The solution also gives Michelin detailed visibility into their network, allowing them to optimize traffic flow, see precisely how latency and congestion affect traffic flow, and prioritize business applications. Flament and her team can also buy more bandwidth at lower costs. “In the end, the ROI of our SD-WAN was achieved in 16 months and users are much more satisfied,” she noted.

In the future, Michelin plans to enable more automation and network self-healing for better resiliency and failover. VMware SD-WAN’s network segmentation capabilities have also proved useful for integrating acquired companies. Said Flament: “Once you’ve had a taste of SD-WAN, you can’t do without it!”

Read the VMware case study for more details about how Michelin is succeeding with VMware SD-WAN.

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