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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?

Sullivan added: "I don't think we should underestimate the amount of effort and time the Detmold team put into this project. I think that was the key component to ensuring the project was almost seamless in its execution. To achieve this in just three months reflects the quality of work and commitment from both teams."


Beyond expectations: Benchmarks and ROI

According to Stork, shifting to SD-WAN has allowed Detmold to increase its network capacity by six-fold.

"It wasn't a big surprise to us," he added. "We modeled several different scenarios across 12 countries to gauge how much bandwidth we could procure. Improving the user experience was the primary driver so we focused our efforts on balancing outcomes."

Additionally, the new network technology has helped the company cut the average cost of its bandwidth per Mbps by approximately 60 percent. In essence, Detmold achieved 15 percent cost savings in their network over two years (including the cost of change), providing design benefits such as active:active backup and orchestration tools to make changes easily.

Moreover, Sullivan added that SD-WAN has enabled the company to improve the performance of its existing applications and roll out new ones, such as Office 365, as well as increase the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and video services, globally.

"A lot of our applications are response time-sensitive," notes Stork. "For example, before implementing the SD-WAN project in China, we could only achieve a 330 millisecond response time which made voice calls jittery. Since the rollout, response times are about 150 milliseconds -- a huge improvement."

Finally, Sullivan underscored the benefits of the real-time visibility feature of the VeloCloud platform for real-time monitoring of network and application use. "This means decisions on future investments into the network can be based on real-time data and empowers the IT team to act faster to business requirements."


Keys to successful adoption of SD-WAN

The willingness to adopt the SD-WAN technology is one of the key factors contributing to the success of the Next Generation WAN Transformation project, said Sullivan. "The fact that [Detmold was] willing to embrace innovation that [requires rigorous] testing before taking next steps was fundamental to the success of the project."

In line, Sullivan pointed out the importance of conducting a PoC to understand the nuances of the new software-defined techniques and also mitigate project risks.

Since adopting SD-WAN is no easy feat, it is important to ensure the engagement of the employees for the successful and on-time completion of the project. "Detmold and Coevolve were very happy how this allowed all stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the benefits of the new technology and the improvements when compared to the previous network operating on traditional WAN technology. This approach mitigated project risks and maximised the understanding of this brand new technology in a controlled manner," Sullivan noted.


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