About a year ago, ADMB and Zenito joined forces to become Liantis. This operation had a profound impact on the company’s IT service, which had to connect over 60 offices with each other. The project was named One Network: Liantis provided every office with new Wi-Fi and a new local network and connected all offices with a new wide area network (WAN). They called in Xylos to advise and support them with the implementation of their new software-defined WAN.
“Moving seems to be in Liantis’ DNA”, says Project Manager John Helsmoortel. “We’ve currently got 64 offices and we regularly open new ones - some are temporary, others are permanent. It’s a challenge to integrate every new office into Liantis’ IT network quickly, which is why we decided to switch to technology that lets us adapt and expand our office network quickly. Network performance is important to us as well.”
After some elaborate market research, Liantis opted for SD-WAN technology by Citrix. This solution has worked well with the manufacturer’s other systems so far, and Citrix SD-WAN guaranteed them more bandwidth for a lower price by smartly combining regular Internet lines with MPLS connections. Together with Liantis and Citrix, Xylos designed an architecture that was subsequently validated by Citrix.
Citrix SD-WAN was the only solution that met all of Liantis’ criteria. One of the options Helsmoortel’s team looked for was the possibility for intelligent routing. This lets them split up network traffic, which is then encrypted and routed parallel through classic Internet lines and their own rented MPLS telecommunication network. Citrix’s technology then uses the signal that arrives first.
“This helps us cut our telecommunication costs – not only because regular Internet lines are now faster and cheaper than MPLS, but also because we no longer have to buy Quality of Service as an optional feature. Citrix now handles QoS automatically, and it’s much more intelligent than it was with our previous MPLS connection. We can now filter by application”, says John Helsmoortel, IT Infrastructure Project Manager at Liantis.
By using a parallel system with both technologies, Liantis becomes less dependent on MPLS. “We expect to save up to 40% on telecommunication, which comes down to about 500,000 EUR in five years. We have three types of SD-WAN connectors, depending on the size of each office. This is another important competitive advantage when it comes to cutting costs”, John Helsmoortel adds.
Three offices are currently connected to the new SD-WAN network. By the end of the year, this amount should increase to 30. “We’re already noticing the advantages. We’re ready to ‘deliver’ offices more quickly now because our way of working has been standardised. We’re also more in control of our environment because we know exactly what’s running on our network. The clear, user-friendly dashboards make management easy. It’s not a zero-touch installation, but still, everything runs much more smoothly compared to a classic WAN network. On top of that, the margin of error is smaller”, says Helsmoortel.
One of the most important advantages for Helsmoortel’s team is the system’s standardisation: all 64 offices now have an identical setup. This efficiency automatically leads to better, faster support.
This isn’t the first project Liantis and Xylos have tackled together. “Three years ago, we chose Xylos for our XenApp project. We appreciate their no-nonsense, customer-centric approach. Their experts always look at the bigger picture and give correct, personal and fitting advice. They don’t try to force applications on you. When we bought licences for a storage project, we saved 70,000 EUR thanks to some concrete tips Xylos had given us. We’re still working with Xylos to modernise our workplace further”, Helsmoortel concludes.
“Everything runs much more smoothly compared to a classic WAN network.”