Learn how the companies helped the brake subsystems developer solve its performance problems and reduce its high communications costs.

Channel Partners

October 8, 2014

3 Min Read
Case Study: ATC, VertitechIT Take the Brakes Off Wabtecs IT Network

The Client. Something was putting the brakes on Wabtec’s wide area network. The company employs 100,000 people; it develops brake subsystems and related products for rail and passenger transit vehicles. Wabtec was trying to improve its IT network’s performance, reduce costs and facilitate the free flow of data among the company’s dozens of global locations, but was having trouble.

The Challenge. Wabtec’s expenses were out of control, multiple telecom vendors meant inefficiencies, and an aggressive corporate growth strategy was fueling the need for an IT system that would expand along with the company.

By 2011, Wabtec had 85 manufacturing plants, service centers and sales offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. At the same time, end users were running applications and transmitting large files that all depended on a low-latency, high-bandwidth infrastructure. Complicating matters even more, the company had patched its global network together using several telecom companies, which proved expensive and inefficient.

The Solution. The Wabtec IT team turned to Advanced Technology Consulting (ATC), a national telecom services firm and a longtime partner of VertitechIT.

“We needed a small team that was very agile to help us design a global network to meet our rapidly changing business demands,” said Doug Salah, manager of information security and networking information technology at Wabtec.

Salah oversees a global network IT department of just five people and feared engaging a large, mega-engineering firm that might put his needs behind those of a larger client.

“They needed to take an intense interest in our processes and our people. This wasn’t just about technology. It was about helping our employees do their jobs efficiently and profitably,” he said.

The VertitechIT team began with a thorough evaluation of the existing network. Senior engineers interviewed key stakeholders and defined requirements for a new global MPLS network capable of running Microsoft Lync, Exchange, and Sharepoint, as well as video conferencing and Oracle applications. The team separated the Wabtec network into three “buckets” – small, medium and large – and developed a matrix to define each location based on size, type of data transfer and relative importance.

VIT engineers created redundancy and added capacity using Cisco Systems Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network (DMVPN), creating an automatic failover from MPLS to VPN in the event of a VPN circuit failure.

In addition, VIT used Cisco’s Performance Routing to selectively route non-critical traffic over the DMVPN cloud, making use of otherwise unused VPN bandwidth while keeping business critical traffic on the QoS-enabled MPLS circuits. DMVPN also allowed Wabtec’s branch sites to speak to one another and access the Internet directly over the VPN cloud, rather than routing through MPLS connection to a central data center.

VIT also installed Wabtec-purchased routers at each location, providing customer-managed redundancy and savings on recurring rental costs.

Once the basic design was complete, ATC took the plan, vetted a number of telecommunications companies that could meet the requirements, and selected Masergy to deploy the new MPLS network and be the central point of contact for MPLS and broadband services.  

As Masergy brought sites on line, VertitechIT oversaw the entire migration of the global network in “rolling” fashion, guaranteeing virtually no down time, and working with Wabtec’s internal IT staff at reasonably scheduled intervals.

The Result. VertitechIT now manages and monitors Wabtec’s entire worldwide network, including the local router system, around the clock. MPLS bandwidth needs have been reduced by nearly 30 percent, network speed has nearly doubled, and Wabtec report dramatic improvement in reliability as well.

Wabtec’s global footprint has grown from 85 to 134 locations in more than two years, and continues to expand through mergers and acquisitions. But because of ATC and VertitechIT, network expense is holding steady with a decidedly better user experience.

“We’re growing 15 percent a year while our network costs are increasing just 1 percent,” said Salah. “Lower per user bandwidth cost and superior performance is testament to the commitment of VertitechIT and ATC to our bottom line.”

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