One secure, managed SD-WAN solution unlocks business benefits for Inalfa Roof Systems
Inalfa Roof Systems supports the global automotive industry with a range of roof systems, hatches and sunblinds for different vehicles. As part of their drive for excellence, they wanted to consolidate a range of technology offerings from different partners into a single, managed SD-WAN with cloud-based security. Now, a global, standardized solution enables their employees to work remotely, has improved their security posture, and allows them to comply with regulations in all the countries in which they operate, including China. This scalable and agile solution has also reduced their total cost of ownership.
Inalfa Roof Systems creates exceptional in-vehicle experiences for people all over the world. Their goal is to be the most innovative company in their industry, producing innovative and high-quality user-centered roof systems for the automotive and truck industry. With over 700 life patents and a global market share of approximately 25%, they deliver their roof systems to almost every major car and truck manufacturer in the world.
Their head office is based in the Netherlands and the company has global operations in Europe, the US, Mexico, APAC and China.
Supporting innovation across a global footprint
Inalfa Roof Systems’ operations are spread over three continents, with factories and development centers in Europe, North America and Asia, supported by regional IT teams. While they used one provider for their company-wide wide area network (WAN), they relied on local service providers, spread out across their area of operations, for internet connectivity. Since the WAN used different service providers for network management and security services, implementing changes or upgrading the network was a complex exercise.
As part of their drive to maximize customer value, Inalfa was looking to standardize how they consumed IT across the company as well as significantly increase visibility of their IT estate, simplifying IT management at the same time. They wanted to move from their legacy WAN to a state-of-the-art, hybrid software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), which would be secure by design and allow remote workers to securely access their corporate network. It would have to manage internet traffic as well as traffic flows on a dedicated, private network for handling sensitive manufacturing information.
Any SD-WAN solution needed to meet stringent data security standards across all the countries where they had operations. To increase the network’s reliability and reduce the impact of outages, they also wanted to build in redundancies.
"Our business changes fast, which means we need an agile solution and a partner who can keep track of our needs and implement changes without delays. And even though requirements can change quickly, keeping data secure is essential."
IT Director Europe, Inalfa Roof Systems
Delivering a single, comprehensive SD-WAN solution
The transformation started by exploring the technology Inalfa was using in all their locations. Working with their global and regional teams we documented all aspects of their network environment, including security and applications. Through a series of workshops and other engagements we were able to make sure that we understood Inalfa’s requirements as well as the impact that their network had on their business.
This allowed us to design and implement a global solution that leverages NTT’s cloud-based security and manages network traffic flow through a fully managed SD-WAN. The SD-WAN combines direct internet access and Inalfa’s dedicated network links, which connect their data centers to their global locations, providing secure access to sensitive data. Our SD-WAN solution also enables remote workers to securely connect to the network, no matter where they’re working from.
As new requirements came to light, they were incorporated into the global framework. This ensured that all specific requirements were catered for, and the global teams were all able to learn from innovative solutions developed elsewhere.
Shifting to a single managed system not only transformed their IT landscape, but also changed the IT teams’ way of working. Instead of each IT team managing a piece of the network, they now have a single managed solution that is supported 24x7. This allows the IT teams to focus more on innovation than on keeping the network running.
"We chose NTT because we needed a truly global partner who could deliver one solution across all our locations. Having them manage and secure our SD-WAN has significantly improved our security posture."
Sr. Director Global IT, Inalfa Roof Systems
Enhanced security through a managed SD-WAN
Inalfa now has one SD-WAN solution across all their global operations, managed by one partner from end to end, providing them with predictable performance and latency. In addition, they have full visibility of the entire WAN, including performance and usage. The agility provided by the network has already enabled them to adapt to changes in their business requirements.
Increased global security
The solution uses the same standardized cloud-based security system all over the world, while meeting the unique requirements of each of the countries they operate in. Having a single solution managed by one company ensures that their able to continually optimize their security posture.
Adaptable and scalable
The network connects factories, offices and employees working from home. Since the solution is standardized, it can quickly and easily be expanded to connect new facilities for this fast-growing business. And because all the technology is contracted through one company, it’s easy to add or remove components as the business changes – no matter how quickly that change happens.
Reduction in the total cost of ownership
Replacing a multitude of services, technologies and providers with one security system, one SD-WAN and a single remote connection solution not only simplified and standardized their network use, but also resulted in a lower total cost of ownership.
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