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Dutch manufacturer turns to SDN to save 30% on network costs

Huisman, a Netherlands-based manufacturer of heavy construction equipment, has chosen Masergy to supply a hybrid WAN and SDN platform to connect multiple global locations

Netherlands-based heavy construction equipment supplier Huisman has selected hybrid networking and cloud communications firm Masergy to deliver a hybrid wide area network (WAN) and software defined networking (SDN) platform across multiple worldwide locations.

Founded in 1929 as a steel construction company, Huisman has evolved over the course of nearly a century into a diverse manufacturing concern centred in particular on the energy sector, covering oil, gas and renewables. It builds and delivers a wide variety of hardware, including cranes, drilling and pipe-laying equipment, winches and specialised vessels.

With its headquarters in Schiedam, a suburb of Rotterdam, Huisman also operates from Australia, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Norway, Singapore and the US. As a result, explained global IT infrastructure manager Andre Faber, it was spending far too much money on a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network that was rapidly approaching the end of its working life.

After a standard procurement process during which a number of familiar names in the telecoms world bid for the replacement contract, Faber has now settled on Masergy based on a combination of favourable pricing, worldwide support and innovative network technology that dovetails with Huisman’s own focus on innovation.

“Due to our strong belief in partnerships with our clients, our commitment to finding new technical solutions and dedication to delivering turnkey projects, we are internationally valued as a solid, reliable partner,” said Faber.

“Masergy shares these values and is quick to respond to our questions, values a service-centric approach and uses the best technical solutions to bring network transparency to us.”

Huisman’s distributed business requires an always-on network, which in turn necessitates top-of-the-line monitoring, control and resilience, which moving to a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) can easily provide, said Faber.

“In the eyes of my engineers, one of the disadvantages of what we have right now is reporting and monitoring, so this product is much better,” Faber told Computer Weekly. “It means we can do everything ourselves. If we see a problem with our existing provider it is not always clear what the problem is, so they have to fix it.”

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SDN also makes it easier for Huisman to grow the network – or shrink it, if necessary – in the future, as well as provision new sites and connections quicker and more cheaply. Faber estimates the network will ultimately cost around 60% less compared to the previous three-year contract, and up to 30% less than a like-for-like traditional WAN replacement would cost today.

Faber said Huisman will likely be looking into deploying other network services propositions from Masergy’s portfolio in the future, such as managed security firewalls and cloud communications.

Read more on Software-defined networking (SDN)