- Replace piecemeal global infrastructure with a standardised wired and wireless network that will cost-effectively scale alongside business growth.
- Create a secure, stable collaborative network environment for its distributed offices and project teams across the globe.
- Reduce costs and management resource required to set-up new remote offices and bring together international project teams.
- All global BCS locations now act as one big virtual office on an underlying network that is both stable and available.
- Centralised management and zero-touch deployment has significantly reduced administration overheads and travelling time.
- Enabled high performance connectivity for employees regardless of location real-time information they need to be productive.
With Aerohive’s Branch-on-Demand, Aviation Specialists Assure Headquarters- like, Secure Wired and Wireless Networking for Offices Across Three Continents
BCS Group is a baggage handling and logistics specialist, and renowned supplier of end to end solutions for the aviation industry. Its core business operates in the aviation sector with complimentary business in the adjacent verticals of logistics and industrial industries.
The company operates internationally. Headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, BCS Group has offices across Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, USA, and North America, with supporting partners in Canada, Caribbean, China, Africa, Middle East, Europe and other SE Asian countries.
The business breaks into three business units, Airport Systems, Operations and Maintenance and Services and Solutions. BCS prides itself on delivering innovative solutions using the best technology, whilst focusing on achieving optimum customer satisfaction with both service and systems performance.
Having previously implemented wireless solutions ad hoc, as the business grew, the company realised its piecemeal approach to networking was neither economically viable nor providing the technical capability to support its business operations moving forward.
BCS Group has 340 staff around the world. In addition to its three main datacentre offices in APAC, personnel operate from 30 remote offices spread across three continents. Its offices accommodate all functions, from software development, mechanical and design engineers, to administration, sales, and 24-hour maintenance and operation shift workers.
With its business departments and workforce distributed around the globe, and growing, the IT team were under pressure to find the resource to deliver IT services effectively. Brett Hobbs, BCS Systems Architect Infrastructure Manager, explained:
“It was a big challenge when we’d look to set up a project team utilising people skills from all over the world. The same was true for setting up a new office, which required specialist engineers to make the network grow, which was hard and expensive to come by. We wanted to find a more economical solution that would enable us to scale the network and enable our workforce to be more collaborative and more productive – wherever they were based.
“Reducing travelling cost was certainly a key objective; finding a solution that was zero-touch and did not require members of the IT team to fly around the world for technology implementation would provide us with valuable man-hours and cost-savings.”
With 24/7 operations, and the increasing capacity demand of business-critical applications, such as 3D visualisation software, BCS was pushing its wireless infrastructure to the limit. After experiencing a major outage with its payroll system, it was time to look for an alternative, standardised wireless infrastructure.
BCS sought a technology partner that could provide not just wireless, but remote office connectivity. Other prerequisites included cost- effective and easy scalability for global needs, the ability to isolate guests and, crucially, the solution needed to be zero-touch for IT.
The IT team chose Aerohive following an evaluation alongside Aruba. BCS opted for Aerohive for its ease of management, rich functionality and ability to provide an integrated wired and wireless network that will cost-effectively scale alongside business growth.
The Aerohive BR100 Router was particularly compelling; removing location from the equation by providing headquarters-like secure wired and wireless networking at any BCS office, however small or remote.
BCS has implemented a combination of BR100’s and Aerohive Access Points, as well as Aerohive’s Cloud VPN Gateway (CVG) and HiveManager Virtual appliance for zero touch deployment and centralised management and administration.
Hobbs said, “In terms of implementation and management it has been simple and easy to use from the outset. The entire solution took just over a day to implement for a full Global rollout – that’s almost unheard of! It’s ease of use, and simple configuration also meant that within two days all our staff were fully familiar with the products and ready to be productive.”
With Aerohive in place, all BCS locations now act as one big virtual office. Regardless of location, employees are working and collaborating from one stable and secure network in real-time.
The cost-effective scalability of the Aerohive solution remains critical as the organisation continues to grow. Aerohive has eliminated the previous complexity in setting up a new office. The IT team no longer face a lengthy financial sign off process; where it would cost thousands of dollars to establish an office from an IT perspective, now it is only hundreds using an Aerohive AP or Branch Router.
“Since the Aerohive network has been in place, it has pulled everything together,” said Hobbs. “It is now easy to centralise all our information, and provide packages that everyone can use with an underlying network that is both stable and available.”
Aerohive has also significantly reduced management overhead for BCS. The simple cloud-based network solution has not only brought the IT team zero touch deployment for its dispersed working environment, but along with HiveManager, has completely eliminated travelling requirements for diagnostics and support; now all controlled, configured and managed centrally.
Hobbs commented, “One of the best features is that it’s a really hands off product. The rules are set up and then the device just automatically configures. I can now deploy other branch offices without having to be present; I just have to tell someone to plug it in. So it has saved on travelling time and cost. I have the peace of mind that when we deploy into another country I don’t have to be there, as the solution and technology has proved itself.”
The benefits are there for staff to see too. For operational staff working in plants that previously only used Ethernet, benefits have been immediate. They can walk around the plant with the technology, rather than sitting in the control room. It gives employees the mobility and real-time information they need to be productive.
“We are now one wireless network,” said Hobbs. “All our employees now know when they turn on their laptop, all the information they need is available and the system is automatically configured. Everything is done from the user’s perspective, which is why this solution works so well for us.”
He concluded: “We couldn’t be happier with the solution and how well it works,” says Brett Hobbs, BCS Systems Architect Infrastructure Manager. “It is the best business changing decision we’ve made this financial year for our company. We will now look to migrate our customer system to Aerohive solutions and are also considering implementing the new BR200 product for branch offices.”