Altares wanted to eliminate the burden of managing lines and equipment by switching to a fully managed WAN; bring smaller sites directly onto the network to enhance connectivity to apps and data; enhance resilience; and make better use of Microsoft Teams telephony.
A Colt SD WAN connecting Altares sites in Paris, Lyon, Aix en Provence, Brussels and Rotterdam, with Colt Intelligent Communications for inbound and outbound calls, and AWS Direct Connect for access to data hosted in the AWS cloud.
The Altares infrastructure team benefits from outsourcing network management to Colt while keeping control of traffic prioritisation. Colt’s Intelligent Communications integrates with SD WAN, enabling transparent use of Microsoft Teams telephony with all numbers ported to the Colt network.
Fully managed service providing secure ad reliable connectivity at all sites. Redundant, active/active MPLS and IP Access connections at major sites ensure resilience and enable traffic prioritisation. SD WAN and Intelligent Communications deliver cost savings compared to previous solutions.
Business drivers – Why Colt SD WAN and Colt IC ?
Altares is the exclusive partner in France, Benelux and North Africa of international B2B information network Dun & Bradstreet. Over 100,000 organisations rely on Altares’s data on 500 million companies in 220 countries and use its business intelligence applications.
Two Paris data centres host Altares’s databases, application development platforms and back-office software. Previously, the Paris, Brussels and Rotterdam offices were connected to each other and to the data centres by a Colt MPLS-based IP VPN. Smaller sites in Aix en Provence and Lyon accessed the data centres via VPN tunnels.
“We wanted to increase the performance and resilience of the network connectivity our 450 users depend on to update data and develop applications,” says Charly Peron, Head of Infrastructure at Altares.
“We also wanted each site to have secure direct internet access, instead of backhauling to Paris, to improve access to SaaS solutions like Microsoft 365.”
What did Altares need from its connectivity and communications solution ?
To improve network performance and resilience, Colt installed MPLS and IP Access connections at the three main sites and both data centres in an active/active configuration.
Charly and his team use a Colt portal to route traffic from the sites to the data centres over the MPLS connections to optimise speed and responsiveness for critical business functions.
IP Access circuits provide connectivity at the Aix en Provence and Lyon sites. “SD WAN made it easy and transparent to bring our smaller sites on to the network and provide them with stable connectivity,” says Charly. “We no longer get complaints about latency or performance.”
The SD WAN router at each site incorporates a firewall and other security functionality, ensuring native protection that removes the need for additional security appliances and simplifying the service.
Intelligent Communications integrates seamlessly with SD WAN, enabling everyone at Altares to make transparent use of Microsoft Teams telephony.
“As a licensed operator in all our countries, Colt could port our phone numbers to their network,” says Charly. “That was critical to ensuring nothing changed for our clients when we moved to Teams telephony.”
The Colt difference
”We chose Colt because we trusted their connectivity expertise and quality of service,” says Charly. “As an SMB with a small infrastructure team, we need to be able to outsource services to trusted, responsive partners like Colt.”
With SD WAN and Intelligent Communications, Altares is achieving its objectives of increasing performance and resilience – delivering a better experience for users and helping them to be more productive.
“Not only do we have a solution that meets our needs perfectly, we’re also making significant cost savings,” concludes Charly.
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