Energy efficiency equipment supplier Circutor has factories and offices in several countries. These include Spain, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Peru, France and Colombia. Key to the company’s business is the interconnection of all these centres and it has undertaken a project to upgrade its MPLS network to an SD WAN. Colt has assisted the company in this process of communications evolution.
Circutor’s CIO, Óscar Campos, explains that thanks to the new SD WAN, the company has gained flexibility. The network now allows for tailored self-management of traffic at any time, based on business priorities and available resources. Another of the benefits Circutor was looking for with the roll-out are the security guarantees it offers.
The Circutor group has a presence in several countries on both sides of the Atlantic. Here, it develops its business of selling equipment — of its own design and manufacture — to improve energy efficiency. The distribution of its factories and international locations requires a robust communications system. This is why it has opted to upgrade its MPLS network to an SD WAN, which allows for greater flexibility and traffic management capacity. Colt has been selected as the IT provider to support this technology transition process.
We have been working with Colt for many years, be it with voice, data or internet connectivity services, as well as with outsourcing the datacentre space. We know their level of service, their excellent value for money and their innovative technology, which is handled with the ease and flexibility of those who know it inside out. The alternative offerings did not demonstrate sufficient expertise in this type of project or the capabilities we expected SD WAN to provide.
Óscar Campos, CIO of Circutor
Óscar Campos, CIO of Circutor, describes the SD WAN implementation project as a business requirement: “Circutor was faced with the need to improve the communications system of its factories and locations in order to keep the different information systems visible, both for production and business operations, both securely and with minimum exposure to cyber-attacks”.
The Spanish company also has operations in France, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and the Czech Republic. The company has a number of industrial customers in all these countries, including power companies and distributors in the electricity sector. Campos notes that they use Colt’s communication solutions to connect factories and subsidiaries to the internet and link to their main cloud providers (AWS and Microsoft Azure), but they also use the SIP Trunking VoIP service for their calls.
The relationship between Circutor and Colt began in 2016, when an MPLS was implemented between their plants and offices. This private network provided service to the factories in Spain, but five years later the company’s goal became more ambitious. It is now moving towards an SD WAN, in order to integrate the peripheral delegations as well. The new communications will strengthen the connection between locations as far apart from each other as those between Europe and Latin America.
“We are improving flexibility, with better traffic control, and we are confident that the SD WAN will help us maintain the necessary quality of service for VoIP packets.. We have also managed to improve costs by increasing performance and bandwidth”, explains Campos. The new technology makes it possible to integrate Internet access with private networks, finding a smart balance of applications functioning on the network. Among the advantages that Circutor has achieved is greater control of traffic as well as the ability to classify and prioritise it, thereby improving the service provided to the different offices. Colt’s SD WAN solution provides greater network visibility, so IT can see what resources are being utilised at any given time, what type of traffic is present, and what speed and latency characteristics it requires. With this information, Circutor can make its own amendments to selfmanage its traffic, something that the MPLS protocol does not allow.
The outcome is a more efficient network that also has other advantages. In Latin American countries, where Internet access is cheaper, Circutor can contract the connection locally and integrate it into the SD WAN. Colt has already implemented the rollout of the new network in the Spanish plants and offices, while work is now underway in Latin America to finalise the system.
One of the positive aspects Campos highlights is security. “We see the SD WAN project as a technology that helps us minimise the risks involved in working with branches 10,000 km away which have to access corporate network resources, as well as in maintaining the same security standards as headquarters. Colt’s mastery of this technology sets it apart from other options in the market”, says Circutor’s CIO. This is because the SD WAN is enabled with Layer 7 firewall functionality and the network is encrypted, which is not the case with MPLS natively.
“The maturity with which Colt is able to prescribe and implement its product is a guarantee of success for international projects and of reducing their inherent risk”, Campos emphasises. “The experience has been key to the realisation of this project and we are not ruling out further enhancing the benefits of this experience throughout the duration of the agreement”. For Circutor’s CIO, the alternatives that had been considered did not offer the same guarantees as those offered by this type of project or the SD WAN capabilities that the company had hoped for. Campos also highlights Colt’s technological support, which goes beyond the mere provision of products and services. “Colt likes to get to know its customers in order to offer them improvements and projects that fit their needs. Its approach is not a short-term one, but rather a solid relationship built on years of working side by side”, he says.
Looking to the future, Circutor is working with the expectation that its relationships with its customers may lead it to open offices and plants anywhere in the world. This is especially true in a context where measurement of electricity consumption and energy efficiency are becoming increasingly important, both in the industrial sector and in all types of buildings. Campos says the company can count on Colt to carry out further projects to bring new subsidiaries online.