Bidvest Paperplus

Overview

With 25 sites a growing bandwidth requirement and a need for more control of its network, Bidvest Paperplus IT manager, Dawie Swarts partnered with Saicom to make the move to SD-WAN.

Bidvest Paperplus had a long established MPLS network with contractual obligations to various service providers.  This coupled with a growing demand for additional bandwidth to power its move to more cloud based applications like Office 365 meant the business either needed to upgrade its MPLS network or find an alternative that offered greater flexibility and transparency.

Saicom, who has a longstanding relationship with other businesses inside of Bidvest Group, hosted an introductory demonstration and showcased its SD-WAN solution stack, powered by Velocloud.

“I knew that an MPLS network upgrade was not only going to be cost prohibitive, but would not offer the functionality that our business needed.  Saicom had a reputation in our business for solving voice and connectivity challenges, and when they introduced their SD-WAN offering, powered by VeloCloud, I asked them to come back with a comprehensive migration strategy,” says Dawie Swarts, IT Manager at Bidvest Paperplus.

Cost was not the primary motivation for a migration to SD-WAN, although it has been one of the benefits of the move.  At the time, Bidvest Paperplus was looking for a product that would not only give better visibility; redundancy and control, but would also deliver better speeds and optimal uptime.  VeloCloud SD-WAN met all the criteria and was backed by network choice and stability.

“We understood that pricing for a multiple site migration would be preferential and made the commitment to Saicom that all 25 sites would be deployed through them, but that we had to do so in a phased rollout.  Their solutions-minded approach and willingness to find a way to match our requirements was a critical contributor in our decision,” adds Swarts.

A phased rollout commenced with the installation of VeloClouds at the Bidvest Paperplus head office in Bryanston and some smaller sites, with subsequent branches migrating as their existing (connectivity) contracts came to their automatic termination.  

Not all the sites had proper infrastructure in place, so as and when these were ready, and live, the VeloClouds were installed and SD-WAN was enabled.  

Adds Swarts, “our smaller, more remote sites had for many years struggled with high costs, limited uptime and minimal throughput speeds.  After the migration to SD-WAN, we have been able to offer better consistency on speeds, optimal uptime, especially at month-end when reliable; stable connectivity is critical.”