Manufacturer consolidates global network infrastructure

Replaces proliferation of networks

Manufacturer of fibre-based materials, Ahlstrom, has outsourced its communications network across 20 countries including Australia.

A fully managed Verizon Private IP solution will provide a high-speed network to connect 25 of Ahlstrom's key locations and ensure secure access to business-critical applications such as SAP and e-mail, as well as supplying backup connections for additional business resiliency.

Ahlstrom employs more than 6,500 staff across six continents.

Ahlstrom's IT development manager, Markku Kuronen, said the company has expanded rapidly over recent years, via both investment and acquisition, in support of its vision of becoming the global source for fiber-based materials.

Kuronen said this aggressive growth curve had led to a proliferation of different networks and systems around the globe, all of which needed to access centrally hosted business-critical applications such as production planning, supply-chain management and logistics tools to facilitate the smooth running of business operations.

As a result the company decided to consolidate its global network infrastructure with a single service provider.

"Quality of service and network resilience were critical concerns, as was the ability to prioritise traffic according to business needs," he said.

"The objective was to optimize performance across the network and minimize any potential downtime."

Ahlstrom's director of corporate information technology, Vesa Hamalainen, said the migration experience was surprisingly positive.

"We migrated each site during working hours, but both users and the IT department agree that there was minimal disruption to everyday operations," Hamalainen said.

"As well as providing top-end performance, the total cost of ownership of the Verizon Business solution, even with migration cost included, will be less than that of the service it replaced."

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