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Building a better WAN: Detmold takes a leap of faith

Sri Narayanan and Adrian M. Reodique | Aug. 21, 2017
How has Detmold Packaging benefited by deploying SD-WAN in its manufacturing operations in Asia Pacific?

Gopal Raja, regional business systems manager, Detpak, part of Detmold Group, receving the CIO Awards 2017 plaque for winning the Growth category.
Gopal Raja, regional business systems manager, Detpak (part of Detmold Group) receiving the CIO Awards 2017 plaque for winning the Growth category.

The benefits of getting an IT infrastructure transformation right are huge, with a wealth of opportunities for savings and process improvements, and the potential to create an advantage by having a competitive and flexible technology environment. The infrastructure's strength has enormous bearing on corporate results.

Winner of the CIO Awards 2017 for the Growth category, Detmold Packaging, knows this only too well. A leading manufacturer of paper and board packaging with over 3,000 employees, Detmold has reinvigorated its network infrastructure, trailblazing one of the largest software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) deployments in a manufacturing operation in Asia Pacific (APAC).

Headquartered in Adelaide, Australia, and boasting a worldwide network comprising 7 factories and over 20 sales offices throughout Australia, Asia, South Africa, the Middle East, America and Europe, Detmold built a next generation network, boosting capacity six-fold and reducing average bandwidth costs by almost 60 percent.

Collaborating with Coevolve, a network solutions provider and integrator, Detmold transformed their network into a highly scalable and robust WAN architecture across 28 sites globally, with room to grow at a far lower operating expenditure.

 

Growing The WAN

In 2014, as part of its standard review process, Detmold determined that their WAN environment had to scale up to support the deployment of Office 365 and future company expansion.

David Stork, Global Infrastructure and Network manager at Detmold, observed: "File transfers were impacting our ERP system because our users were sending large volumes of files across very small  Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network connections. We needed to add more capacity than what our existing MPLS network connections could support." The bandwidth issues had a knock-on effect with other systems including voice over IP (VoIP) and printing.

Stork noted that in some markets such as Vietnam and China, adding capacity to their MPLS connections was not cost-effective. "Our existing MPLS service provider offered to sell us more capacity but at double the costs. We didn't think that was feasible," he said.

So with management's approval, Detmold embarked on an ambitious, next generation wide-area network (WAN) transformation project. The goal was to improve and provide consistent end-user experience not just in Australia but across global offices, and in the process, reduce operating expenditure.

 

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