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Co-Managed SD-WAN

Co-Managed SD-WAN

How global animal health contract research and manufacturing company, Argenta, adopted Teneo’s Co-Managed SD-WAN for improved network performance.

At a glance

1
Argenta’s WAN-dependent critical applications were underperforming due to connectivity dropouts, latency, and bandwidth underutilization.
2
Following a thorough assessment of several solutions, they selected Teneo’s Co-Managed SD-WAN service.
3
Since working with Teneo, Argenta now enjoys an 80% improvement in ERP system performance across the WAN; issues relating to interconnectivity and dropouts have also improved by 90%.
4
The IT team benefit from round the clock support, management expertise, continuity of service, and training and personal development from Teneo’s expert Service Desk and management team.

About Argenta

Argenta is the world’s only combined global contract research organization (CRO) and contract manufacturing organization (CMO). Specializing in the high growth industry of animal health, the company employs 500 staff across 5 locations worldwide.

Argenta’s IT is primarily managed in-house by a lean team of 7 staff across 3 countries, each covering specialist disciplines. Some end-user computing support is outsourced at the company’s headquarters in New Zealand.

Previous way of operating & business limitations

As a growing company, interconnectivity between locations had become critical for Argenta. However, legacy IPsec VPN tunnels, running over the public internet, often resulted in connectivity dropouts. Furthermore, unused additional disaster recovery WAN links at most sites resulted in underutilization of available bandwidth.

Many of Argenta’s critical applications, hosted from their New Zealand location, were WAN-dependent, including the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system and document management system.

Because these applications were serving 4 sites across the US and UK, the distance between locations was causing latency issues. Network performance notably worsened when a new UK site opened in 2016, bringing 130 new users to the network.

A better way forward with Teneo’s Co-Managed SD-WAN

Although general network support was previously outsourced, the opportunity arose to improve network infrastructure when the decision was made to insource this function.

This prompted research into SD-WAN with combined WAN Optimization to help solve Argenta’s global visibility, performance, and connectivity challenges.

In seeking an SD-WAN service partner, Argenta assessed both fully managed and co-managed solutions, as well as MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching).

In the case of MPLS, many service providers couldn’t offer sufficient bandwidth, and quotes didn’t offer best value. This is where Teneo came in.

Michael Meredith, Argenta UK & US IT Operations Manager, explained: “We identified that our team’s main requirement was for assistance with the implementation of an SD-WAN solution, and for support around general SD-WAN knowledge.”

“Following a recommendation from Silver Peak, we selected a Co-Managed SD-WAN Service from Teneo. This enabled us to not only learn the solution ourselves, but also to obtain the support we needed to ensure that it was operated consistently.”

down quote up quote We identified that our team’s main requirement was for assistance with the implementation of an SD-WAN solution, and for support around general SD-WAN knowledge.
Michael Meredith
Argenta UK & US IT Operations Manager

An improved strategy

Thanks to Teneo’s Co-Managed SD-WAN Service and the utilization of Silver Peak’s Boost WAN Optimisation feature, ERP system performance has improved by 80%. This has been achieved without the need to change the hosting location or add additional bandwidth capacity.

Plans are also now in place to move the company’s document management system to Microsoft Azure. As the system needs an upgrade, the IT team will also take the opportunity to host it in the US, thus helping to solve latency issues through better geographical placement between sites.

A similar strategy exists to move their legacy file server from their New Zealand site to Microsoft Azure in Australia, which they can now leverage SD-WAN to access.

They’re now able to adopt a cloud-first strategy across the business, where appropriate.

Business outcomes driven by Teneo

Teneo’s Co-Managed SD-WAN Service has contributed towards significant outcomes for Argenta as follows:

Improved visibility

End-to-end network visibility ensures that slow performance can no longer be blamed on the network. Such visibility has enabled the IT team to realize how bandwidth-heavy some applications were and has helped them to discover application dependencies.

Minimal network changes

Time savings in terms of network changes have also been realized. Previously, most overheads were taken up by the company’s 7 on-premises firewalls. This has been reduced with Teneo’s Co-Managed SD-WAN. While firewalls are still scanning traffic, a plan to investigate a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) framework is the next step.

Reduced outages

Support tickets due to outages have also decreased, reducing administration and improving productivity.

Service value

Since implementing Teneo’s Co-Managed SD-WAN service, Argenta has realized further added value in several key areas

Support and expert knowledge

Argenta can now rely on round the clock support and appropriate management expertise through the Teneo Service Desk, available 24x7x365.

Michael Meredith explained, “Teneo’s team is responsive, has helped to further the internal IT team’s knowledge and at the same time, provides outside support to ensure that best practice configurations are followed.”

Minimal network changes

Time savings in terms of network changes have also been realized. Previously, most overheads were taken up by the company’s 7 on-premises firewalls. This has been reduced with SD-WAN. While firewalls are still scanning traffic, a plan to investigate a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) framework is the next step.

Reduced outages

Support tickets due to outages have also decreased, reducing administration and improving productivity.

Key learning points

In terms of key learning points, Michael stated, “It was important to sell the benefits of SD-WAN internally to the business and the IT team. My strategy for bringing them on board by teaching them key vocabulary, such as Business Intent Overlays (BIOs) and adaptive Forward Error Correction (FEC), as well as explaining what level of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection model) they were operating at, worked especially well.”

He added, “And, while the proof of concept took us a considerable period of time, the results in the real world have fully matched that concept. It was a highly valuable exercise that was well worth doing.”

down quote up quote Teneo’s Co-Managed SD-WAN Service best matched what we wanted to achieve. It was important that we had access to support contacts, available to help with day-to-day management, but also a team with the appropriate level of management expertise.
Michael Meredith
Argenta UK & US IT Operations Manager

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