There has been a lot of media coverage this year about the need for Enterprises to re-engineer their business practices through the adoption of a Digital Transformation strategy. In all cases there is a driving need to improve on the flow of information across the business regardless of the location of employees or the business applications those employees rely on to do their jobs.
An example of an Enterprise who has completely transformed their business via Digital Transformation is Ixom, a manufacturer and trader of chemicals and ingredients based in Australia and New Zealand.
With over 1000 employees spread out across 46 branch locations spanning 16 countries their challenge was to ensure seamless connections to everyone and everything in the business so employees could get the information they needed, whenever they needed it, even if they were on the move. Key in changing their business was the adoption of a cloud first IT strategy, that being the use of cloud-based IT and communication applications that were accessible by all.
In order to achieve their ambition Ixom management identified that their current wide area network environment needed a refresh. It was based on traditional network services that limited the flexibility to change at the speed their business required while also being costly to implement even simple moves, adds and changes.
Wide Area Networking for Ixom
The Ixom team engaged with global network services provider BT who have many years of experience in both global networking and success stories with other Enterprises in the chemical and manufacturing verticals.
BT have a Digital Transformation ready portfolio with their Dynamic Network Services solution and worked alongside the Ixom IT and management team to tailor a solution that fit perfectly to the Ixom Cloud IT requirements.
The solution BT implemented was Agile Connect; their premium SD-WAN solution powered by Nuage Networks from Nokia. Agile Connect didn’t just give the Ixom team more visibility of the wide area network across all global sites through a single SD-WAN management portal, it provided an extra layer of security, proactive monitoring and reporting to improve the manageability of the Ixom network.
Agile Connect provided Ixom with the right network technologies at each of their branches with the ability to create SD-WAN overlay paths across both traditional MPLS and encrypted Internet connections to build the global SD-WAN across all Ixom locations.
Once the Ixom global network had been migrated to SD-WAN with Agile Connect, the BT team worked alongside Ixom IT staff to model the businesses applications and deploy network and security policies that directed high priority traffic down the best performing route, and less important data over an Internet service.
Extending the Network into the Cloud
As part of the Digital Transformation at Ixom they moved their IT compute and storage to the Microsoft Azure public Cloud platform. With first generation SD-WAN solutions this would mean an extended ‘on-ramp’ to the Cloud.
With BT’s Agile Connect service, which has implemented Nuage Networks SD-WAN 2.0 capabilities, the Ixom network was extended directly into the Azure Cloud so that the virtualized compute services there can be monitored and more importantly managed as an integral part of the wide area network. That means the same visibility and security controls of the Ixom traffic in the cloud as the team gets from their physical branch locations.
For Ixom this has allowed them to deploy their business-critical SAP application within Azure and utilize the ‘Azure Virtual WAN’ function to seamlessly link this critical business system to each of their global locations. The result has been an agile wide area network that flexes with the business demands of Ixom.
For more information on the Ixom Digital Transformation journey and their implementation of BT Agile Connect powered by Nuage Networks from Nokia, follow the link below: