It started with salt.
Redmond, Incorporated began in 1958 after a prolonged drought forced two brothers to abandon farming and begin mining a prehistoric salt deposit on their property. Today, Redmond produces Real Salt, a leading brand of sea salt, as well as a range of mineral products for livestock and agriculture, personal care, and construction products. The company operates four Real Foods retail markets in Utah and owns 16 manufacturing, warehouse facilities, branches located in Utah and Colorado. Each of the company’s 17 brands started as an entrepreneurial venture, and each manages its own operations. This approach has resulted in revenues increasing by 800 percent between 2004 and 2014.
One infrastructure, many needs.
Although the brands operate separately, a centralized IT organization supports all of them. As a diverse, entrepreneurial company, each brand’s business model places different demands on the IT infrastructure. For example, the retail stores require compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), as well as support for retail operations. Customer service outlets require highly responsive telephony capabilities. Wholesale manufacturing and warehouses require support for mobility, and branch office workers need access to their company desktop while teleworking. This diversity creates challenges for the IT team, who need to support all of the business’s operations from a common infrastructure in the headquarters.
“We had a number of requirements to meet in order to keep moving the business forward,” said Aaron Gabrielson, senior IT project manager for Redmond. “Our new WAN solution had to be able to deliver on all of them.”
Redmond’s far-flung operations are connected by a WAN comprised of public Internet links. Unpredictable public Internet connections often degraded Redmond’s Voice over IP (VoIP) corporate telephony system and virtual desktop application performance. Users sometimes had difficulty accessing their virtual desktops, encountered downtime, or experienced poor voice quality.
Redmond’s IT team wanted a WAN solution that would allow them to migrate their unified communications and virtual desktop systems to significantly improve performance and employees’ experiences everywhere across the organization. Compounding the problem for Redmond IT were:
- Aging network devices reaching the end of life
- Strict PCI compliance at retail locations accepting credit card payments
- A new WAN network without a complete redesign or additional management resources.
A VeloCloud for everyone.
Redmond’s IT team evaluated three potential WAN solutions. They chose VeloCloud, the only complete cloud-delivered SD-WAN that delivers virtualized services to branch locations with enterprise class performance, visibility, and control. The VeloCloud SD-WAN solution can be delivered over the public Internet and private networks for superior flexibility. The team conducted a proof of concept to ensure that they could connect all branches and achieve improved performance. VeloCloud delivered exactly what they were looking for.
“VeloCloud delivered a rich feature set and worked better than the other two solutions we tried,” said Gabrielson. “It’s so brilliantly designed that our proof of concept took only 30 minutes from the time we unwrapped the boxes. It didn’t take long to realize what a great solution it is.”
VeloCloud’s deployment flexibility greatly simplified WAN implementation. Business policy-driven templates include built-in Quality of Service (QOS) parameters and come pre-configured for the network edge. No matter how many Internet links a Redmond site uses or the type of physical connectivity required, VeloCloud could deliver. Today, Redmond has Long-term Evolution (4G LTE), fiber, digital subscriber line (DSL), cable, and mixed 4G/3G wireless links in use across its WAN—all connecting easily with VeloCloud.
Flexible branch connectivity with no onsite IT.
VeloCloud connectivity is now available almost everywhere in Redmond’s WAN, except for few large manufacturing sites. Gabrielson says that it takes one IT team member about 30 minutes to install the edge device at each location with only minor changes to the firewall and a few routes. And then they leave—the WAN takes care of itself without requiring IT staff to be present in the remote location.
Neither did the company have to change its applications to run over the new WAN. The team successfully migrated corporate VoIP and virtual desktop traffic without disruption and significantly improved performance for corporate applications and Internet-bound traffic.
“When we evaluated VeloCloud, it was dramatically more cost-effective,” said Gabrielson. “We were prepared to spend a large percentage of our IT budget on new branch equipment, and we didn’t spend any. VeloCloud solved our problem with zero CAPEX cost.”
Zero CAPEX cost with VeloCloud.
According to the IT team, even better than VeloCloud’s features and price is its ease of management. IT immediately realized management timesavings of at least 20 percent and they can deploy and manage any new devices approximately five times faster. The team is also happy with the WAN’s adherence to PCI compliance requirements.
At Redmond, IT solutions and business economics fit tightly together. As new brands emerge or existing brands launch new products, Redmond’s infrastructure is ready to support the growth with VeloCloud.