Powell Fenwick transforms their business to a modern, efficient and innovative environment boosting employee flexibility and productivity.
About Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre
Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre is a New Zealand business with nearly 50 years’ experience and a large customer base of plumbers, gasfitters, builders, homemakers, and renovators. From designer fittings to the basics, their showrooms feature a huge range of quality products.
With 13 branches and more to come, Chesters required a network solution that could support their expansion. Adding new sites to the existing network was becoming increasingly complex and expensive, as well as providing poor performance.
Chesters initially had an MPLS network in place but the team was looking for a bigger and faster network that wasn’t going to exceed their budget. Softsource vBridge (formerly Softsource) was already working with Chesters, holding regular review meetings to assess changing needs and providing expert guidance when required. With a commitment to making organisations more productive and efficient, this level of ongoing support is a standard part of Softsource vBridge services. As a result of the regular review meetings, it became clear that Chesters needed to upgrade their network to support their growth then and into the future.
With a wealth of expertise in rapidly transforming Wide Area/Local Area enterprise networks and methodologies, SvB was able to plan a tailored project in a tight timeframe.
“We had to upgrade our network and we had to do it fast. On top of already having a relationship with Softsource vBridge and knowing they could work quickly, their team was able to offer us a tailored solution at a price that was within our budget,” explained Paul Bunbury, CIO Chesters
After reviewing the existing network solution, Softsource vBridge identified Network as a Service (NaaS) using Aruba’s industry leading Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology as the best solution. This would provide greater network connectivity, deliver cost savings, reduce complexity, and boost performance.
“We’ve seen more and more businesses moving to Network as a Service because they want to move away from expensive equipment costs, they’re looking for a more flexible model to meet changing needs, it saves significant costs, and it makes upgrades a lot easier,” said David Small, CTO at Softsource vBridge.
And in a recent report by IDC, businesses cited new technology, COVID-19 impacts, faster deployment of new features and functionality, and cost reduction on maintenance and support as the main drivers for adopting NaaS.1.
Using Aruba’s SD-WAN technology, Softsource vBridge implemented an agile solution that provides always-on availability, better network performance, and the ability to adapt easily to suit changing demands. This NaaS solution also includes ongoing management from SvB, freeing up the team at Chesters to focus on other valuable projects.
“Our new network has given us everything we need to grow the business and give our employees and customers a better experience,” said Bunbury.
Chesters had a tight timeframe and couldn’t afford any downtime, so the SvB team implemented the solution outside of their operating hours for a seamless upgrade with minimal disruption to the business.
“We were really happy with the seamless rollout. The new network was implemented quickly and outside our business hours which meant we had minimal downtime during the upgrade,” said Bunbury.
Their new network provides enterprise-grade performance and advanced security for high-speed network access from all their sites at a lower price point than their traditional MPLS solution. This solution also makes it easier and more affordable to add more sites as Chesters expand their locations.
On top of the NaaS solution, Softsource vBridge also installed a 4G cellular connection that provides network redundancy for even better network reliability. Installing this 4G cellular connection for network redundancy puts a robust plan B in place for Chesters in case the fibre connection is damaged. This has happened to the business previously resulting in expensive productivity loss. With their new 4G connection in place, their IT team can rest easy knowing the probability of the network going down is significantly reduced.
As a result of their new SD-WAN as a service, Chesters are experiencing better network performance, increased service velocity, less IT team burden, and have been able to easily add new branches to the network. They’ve also achieved significant cost savings which they’ve been able to invest in other IT projects.
“The cost-savings have allowed us to invest in a 4G cellular connection that acts as a backup if the fibre connection is damaged. This has already stopped our showrooms going down multiple times,” explained Bunbury, Chesters.
Their new 4G cellular connection helps to maximise network availability and guarantee high productivity levels by minimising expensive downtime.
The new SD-WAN network has also allowed Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre to finally pursue their goal of replacing the main business applications with a Software-as-a-Service solution. As a result of the upgrade, they’ve rolled out laptops and PCs to their staff as well as giving them fast access to key applications from anywhere.
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“We were really happy with the seamless rollout. The new network was implemented quickly and outside our business hours which meant we had minimal downtime during the upgrades.” Paul Bunbury, CIO, Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre
“The cost-savings have allowed us to invest in a 4G cellular connection that acts as a backup if the fibre connection is damaged. This has already stopped our showrooms going down multiple times.” Paul Bunbury, CIO, Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre
1. Network as a Service Enables Flexible Consumption of Secure and Agile Enterprise Networks. IDC (2021).
Brandon Butler, Susan G. Middleton. Sponsored by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.