The company rolled out the project in January 2016, two months before the expiration of its incumbent network service, and completed it in April in the same year.
Staying on track
There were several challenges in implementing a project of this size but a good PoC and detailed migration plan ensured Detmold and Coevolve anticipated many issues before they became problems.
One of the early challenges was importing new technologies into countries such as China and Indonesia. Stork said: "Though we were expecting this, we did experience some issues with local customs. Coevolve stepped forward and helped us to sort these out."
Another issue was the actual configurations to migrate the existing MPLS networks to the PoC stage, and eventually to a full blown network. Because their existing 3-year MPLS contract was scheduled to expire by end March 2016, Detmold and Coevolve set an aggressive timeline for the migration and global resourcing to ensure that all 28 sites would be compliant with the PoC. "I must admit this was a concern but it was more about involving people and keeping them informed of what was needed and when to make sure we were on schedule," recalled Stork.
Finally, the quality of the ISP circuits in some markets posed some concerns early in the project. Sullivan said: "As the underlying infrastructure connectivity, the performance was quite average or poor resulting in a higher than expected packet loss."
Coevolve resolved this by addressing Detmold's application priorities. "The VeloCloud technology allowed us to improve targeted application performance in real-time using built-in mediation mechanisms.Through VeloCloud's cloud-delivered SD-WAN, Detmold's applications, which include VoIP, salesforce.com, Office 365, Skype for Business and ERP, were all optimised and delivered consistently for excellent user experience."
In addition, Coevolve established on-going vendor management support by assisting Detmold in escalating issues with local ISPs.
Marking the progress of any infrastructure project as large as Detmold's adoption of SD-WAN is an iterative process. Every milestone serves as a stake in confirming the vision for the project.
For Stork, the PoC was a decisive first step for the entire project. "We spent a significant amount of time getting senior management to sign off on this project," he recalled. "But a detailed PoC and the results of successful application testing across our Singapore, Adelaide and Vietnam sites convinced management to invest in the technology."
This was followed by the approval of the request for proposal (RFP) and infrastructure design, setting up a migration schedule and establishing global resourcing requirements.
Finally, the rollout in Auckland and other sites in Australia as well as the final two deployments in Hong Kong and the Philippines were the last milestones. "For me, the high quality of work in Australia covering two to three sites in a day gave me the confidence that rolling out such a massive project across APAC was actually feasible," said Stork.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.