Etex bouwt toekomstbestendig wereldwijd netwerk met GTT

6 februari 2023

Etex, een wereldwijde specialist in bouwmaterialen met ongeveer 14.000 medewerkers in kantoren en productielocaties over de hele wereld, vroeg zijn telecom-partner GTT voor hulp bij het aansturen van een initiatief voor digitale transformatie om een meer klantgerichte organisatie te creëren. Het resultaat is een zeer stabiele, beheerde SD-WAN-oplossing die meer uptime, hogere bandbreedte, toepassingsprioritering en lagere totale kosten biedt van eigendom. Hieronder de (Engelse) case study.

The Etex IT team prides itself on offering an innovative and customer-centric service experience, which is underpinned by constant data streams across its network that feed its global customer relationship management, automation and quality assurance tools.

For more than a decade, Etex has worked with GTT as its trusted partner to continuously evolve its global network and meet its needs for robust service uptime, IT security and cloud adoption. GTT has supported Etex in achieving bandwidth increases while reducing the average cost of Mbps across its estate. This includes its most hard-to- reach production facilities and locations worldwide, such as in Indigenous Protected Areas in Australia, as well as remote, rural locations in France, Germany and the Asia-Pacific region.

Richard Pym, Head of Technology at Etex, said, “Together with GTT, we have built a strategy to transform and future-proof our global network, which accommodates our IT security and global telephony needs, as well as delivering all the benefits of an agile and resilient managed SD-WAN solution.”

The challenge

Etex is driving a digital transformation initiative to become a more customer-centric organization. Its goal is to harmonize and improve processes, activities, and collaboration across its business. Key digital milestones have included the introduction of Salesforce, the launch of a digital customer platform ensuring product transparency and omni-channel product availability, as well as new automation tools and business applications residing primarily in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Delivering digital transformation at this level has increased the pressure on Etex’s network across Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As it moved to more application-aware networking and greater cloud adoption, bandwidth for many of the company’s locations needed to be increased in a secure and agile way, without increasing costs. Etex also chose to deploy Microsoft Teams to harmonize and facilitate collaboration across its business and sought a simple design for its global communication needs.

The solution

  • SD-WAN
  • Cloud Connect
  • SIP Trunking
  • Professional Services

GTT has worked with Etex to evolve its legacy application-aware WAN to a next level of resilience, reliability and security for its data and voice, enabling improved collaboration globally. Etex now uses a standardized networking platform to operate its centralized and cloud-first IT strategy with speed and agility. This standardization not only simplifies its setup but enables it to act as a global secure platform that brings applications to users in an optimal way and streamlines business expansion so it can happen quickly and easily.

GTT provides Etex with Managed SD-WAN across more than 91 sites around the world. The solution is integrated with GTT’s global Tier 1 internet backbone for an enhanced user experience. Together with GTT Cloud Connect – providing private and direct cloud connectivity – and combined with WAN optimization, the solution accelerates the performance of Etex’s business-critical applications, such as those residing in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Many of the company’s locations also benefit from increased bandwidth availability by combining primary and backup connections into a single, always-on and high- availability setup. The fully redundant connection types share the ongoing traffic load, while ensuring a fail-over line remains available in the event of a fault.

GTT also delivers SIP Trunking services to Etex, enabling inbound and outbound global calling that complement the manufacturer’s cloud-based Microsoft Teams deployment. GTT connects its global, fully redundant and robust network of session border controllers embedded in its own Tier 1 IP backbone, enabling it to offer a single platform with dedicated SIP trunks to Microsoft Teams. This ensures Etex’s users benefit from optimized voice traffic performance and an improved calling experience. The service, supported by GTT’s voice experts, includes hundreds of telephone numbers in all the countries where Etex maintains operations.

A designated GTT Professional Services team collaborates with Etex on its ongoing digital transformation, offering tailored design, project, technical and assurance support. A project manager, service manager and technical managers act as advocates and work hand-in-hand with the Etex team to ensure an optimal services operation, overseen by a robust strategic governance model and steering committee.

Cybersecurity has never been more business-critical. Etex and its GTT team are aligning their cybersecurity approach with the manufacturer’s current and futureneeds. They are jointly exploring a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) framework for the next evolution of its networking and threat protection in order to continuously mitigate potential risks in the changing security landscape.

The benefits

  • Increased available bandwidth by 50%
  • Decreased cost per MB by 30%
  • Decreased number of network incidents by 60%

Improved efficiency

Erik Arconada, Product Manager, External Connectivity at Etex, said, “GTT has given us a stable network based on SD-WAN, with even higher uptimes than before, higher bandwidth and application prioritization. Our implementation process has benefited from GTT’s extensive experience in deploying a variety of managed SD-WAN technologies all around the world. Our solution from GTT has helped us significantly increase bandwidth availability in hard-to-reach locations but at the same time decreased the total cost of running our network.”

Lower TCO

By implementing GTT-managed SD-WAN, Cloud Connect and SIP Trunking services in place of its legacy services, Etex has reduced the total cost of ownership (TCO) for its overall IT spend by 15%.

Improved visibility

The SD-WAN network management tools provided by GTT through its EtherVision customer portal have improved Etex’ visibility across its entire enterprise network. EtherVision provides data and reporting to help Etex and GTT understand and evolve the network and make continual improvements. EtherVision also provides access to SD-WAN and SIP Trunking-related service components such as inventory, call details, order status and invoicing in one easily accessible dashboard.

Greater end user satisfaction

“Thanks to the long-term collaboration with
GTT and their reliable global SD-WAN, secure Cloud Connect and enterprise-wide SIP Trunking solutions, Etex has been able to implement its IT strategy to benefit end users and optimize overall TCO,” said Dirk Altgassen, group CIO at Etex.

Achieving digital transformation

Etex has accomplished its goal of becoming a more customer-centric organization by improving its processes and activities, while encouraging collaboration across the business. The company has positioned itself to leverage its new digital customer platform as well as new automation tools and applications residing in the cloud. As Dirk Altgassen, group CIO at Etex noted, “With GTT’s experienced professionals, our IT governance remains in constant alignment with our ambitions for the future.”

Robbert Hoeffnagel

Robbert Hoeffnagel

Editor @ Belgium Cloud

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