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High speed, managed fibre network delivers improved productivity to leading agri business

Intellicom and Grassland Agro - fibre network connectivity

High speed, managed fibre network delivers improved productivity to leading agri business

Leading agri and industrial fertilizer business, Grassland Agro has contracted Intellicom to deploy a four-site, high-speed managed fibre network.

Leading agri and industrial fertilizer business, Grassland Agro has contracted Intellicom to deploy a four-site, high-speed managed fibre network. The intellicom | inflow solution delivers more reliable and robust access to mission-critical business applications and improves staff productivity.

The fibre network, which connects 45 users at Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Slane comprises high-speed, dedicated internet bandwidth and separate private network capacity for the company’s mission-critical business application, SAP Business One. Since deployment, the company enjoys improved productivity through better application response times and printing speeds as well as consolidated business reporting for the company’s boardroom team in France.

Business Challenge

In 2013, Grassland Agro merged with a French agri business, Roullier. The company, with a € 3 billion turnover required the Irish operation to migrate to SAP Business One as the key line of business application. But Grassland’s existing DSL connectivity was unable to deal with the high-bandwidth requirements of SAP.

“Up to then, we were working on Navision across DSL. Each regional site ran their own servers and file storage so they were standalone from a systems perspective. But internationally, Roullier had about 200 installation of SAP so it didn’t make business sense to have the Irish operation on a different platform”

Larry Fay, IT manager with Grassland

A significant network upgrade was required.

High speed, managed fibre network delivers critical business applications and improved productivity to leading agri businessSolution

To address network speed and capacity issues, the team at Intellicom deployed a four-site managed MPLS WAN, based on direct fibre connectivity and retained the existing DSL network as backup. Bandwidth is split between internet connectivity and guaranteed capacity assigned to the business-critical SAP traffic.

The right level of performance, capacity and capability ensures a quality experience for all of Grassland’s user base, irrespective of location.The solution is fully IP Voice and Video ready and is also layered with a full managed service, delivered from the company’s in-house network operations centre.

Engineering staff proactively monitor and manage Grassland’s telecoms infrastructure, ensuring maximum uptime and troubleshooting of any technical issues before they impact business operations.

Solution Benefits

  • More reliable and robust access to mission- critical business applications – high-speed, high performance, scalable network speedsImproved staff productivity – thanks to better application response times and quicker printing speeds
  • Direct application access – no need to fire up VPNs or remote desktop sessions
  • Investment protection – IP-ready network architecture to support real time network traffic such as voice and videoStreamlined business reporting – allowing download of daily business performance data across the network
  • Peace of mind – with an enterprise class SLA and full operational and technical support

High speed, managed fibre network delivers critical business applications and improved productivity to leading agri businessBusiness Benefits

The biggest benefit for Grassland centres on productivity according to Mr Fay.

“We’re in the middle of our busy season and the network has bedded in very well. The improved speed has had a positive effect on productivity and users at regional centres can now work live on the system, negating the need to set up VPNs and remote desktop sessions to access business applications.
With the old network, printing dockets could take more than 30 seconds. In the busy season that’s a lifetime but it’s completely different now as our high speed connectivity is split between SAP and internet capacity with guaranteed bandwidth for our mission-critical computing tasks.”

Mr Fay is optimistic about growth in the Grassland operation and as such future – proofing the network was a key consideration when designing the architecture behind the solution.

“The network design is built on the principle of investment protection,” said Neil Wisdom, managing director with Intellicom.

“The technical architecture has been future-proofed and designed for easy scalability and full unified communications as and when Grassland decide to take their infrastructure to the next level. It’s VoIP and video ready and that means older PABXs at regional sites can be easily retired and migrated to cloud-based or on premise IP-based contact centre solution, and at a lower cost than traditional telephony.”

“It’s definitely been a positive project for us,” concludes Mr Fay. “The Intellicom team met our project deadlines and I’ve had no reason to contact them for support or prompts. Now that this project is concluded, we will look at future developments including the possibility of migrating to a full unified communications solution,” he said.

Intellicom inflow Key Features

  • 24 x 7 proactive management and monitoring Service
  • WAN, LAN, voice, video and security management
  • Application and network performance management
  • Multi-vendor telecoms circuit management, including SIP voice trunks
  • Multi-vendor equipment support
  • Geographically independent service offering
  • Tailorable service contracts NBD, 8 x 5 x 4 to 24 x 7 15 mins response time 24 x 7 manned NOC operations
  • ITIL-based service desk

About Grassland Agro

Grassland Agro was formed in February 2013, resulting from a 50/50 joint venture between The Freshgrass Group and Groupe Roullier. Grassland Agro has three industrial fertilizer plants in Limerick, Cork and Slane with headoffice based in Ballymount in Dublin. It sources, produces and sell the complete range of conventional commodity fertilizers as well as the most comprehensive range of speciality fertilizer and soil conditioning products.