Developing a smart network to drive digital transformation
Logicalis South Africa
Products and services:
HQ and branch SDWAN appliances
Cloud virtual hosting
LSA virtual PBX
LSA managed service
3 500 staff, 700 IT users, 24 sites
Savour the sea
The Sea Harvest Group is a leading seafood, aquaculture, agri-processing and branded fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) business with a global footprint. Sea Harvest was established in 1964 and has developed a strong reputation and solid long-term relationships with its geographically diverse international customer base.
The group harvests wild-caught seafood off the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique and Australia and processes the catch into a variety of chilled and frozen premium seafood products. Through Sea Harvest Aquaculture, they farm a variety of fish and shellfish species. The varied wild-caught and farmed products are then packed and marketed to a local and international customer base. The agri-processing business produces value-added dairy products, such as cheese, butter and powders, for the South African retail and foodservice markets.
The Sea Harvest vision is to be a leading and responsible diversified global seafood and agri-business.
Creating an agile organisation
In this era of cloud and digital transformation, organisations cannot afford to choose between security and performance. With a constantly expanding attack surface, businesses need proven protection for assets and users without limiting the speed or capacity of network operations.
Facing the challenges that legacy systems, ageing equipment and increasing costs present, the IT department at Sea Harvest looked to innovate and re-engineer their infrastructure by partnering with a reputable MSP. Modernisation, flexibility and security were key objectives that needed to be addressed. Kevin McPhail, IT Infrastructure Manager at Sea Harvest, explains that the comprehensive proposal presented by the Logicalis SA Team demonstrated a clear understanding of the Sea Harvest environment and, by recommending the chosen solution, the myriad security, networking and management functions were addressed. The result was that the Sea Harvest team would be able to devote more time and resources to revenue growth and innovation initiatives. The unified threat management (UTM) features specifically would enable the company to fully utilise their mobile workforce, cloud services and other emerging technologies to gain a competitive advantage in the industry. The proposed solution included a strong element of reducing the risk posed by ransomware, phishing and other cyber security threats.
Critically important to the Sea Harvest team was to partner with a solutions provider with a local presence to ensure the solutions chosen could be implemented and locally supported over the long term. By partnering with an award-winning global MSP, Logicalis, provided peace of mind, instant access to skilled technicians and advanced toolsets, resulting in faster diagnoses and remediation, once again freeing up internal resource to focus on strategic alignment rather than being regularly drawn into crisis management.
“When we began this journey, we simply wanted to bring on an MSP to help address the challenges we had identified. In Logicalis, however, we’ve found likeminded partners, experts and individuals that have taken the time to understand our business and to develop solutions that are dynamic, agile and attune to our evolving business needs," said McPhail.
Structured solutions that scale
- SDWAN solution enables multiple connectivity options. Centralising network intelligence creates an adaptable organisation that can overcome any obstacle.
- SDWAN solution uses built-in intelligence to determine routing choices and automatic failover options.
- Logicalis SA has a team of certified engineers and extensive knowledge in SDWAN design and implementation.
- Significant improvement in IT costs.
- Endpoint device protection.
- High availability and redundancy provided for remote sites.
- Improved visibility and access to increasing numbers and types of devices is supported.
- Enhanced consistency is achieved, enabling the same level of granular quality of service, policy and security enforcement across the network.
- Improved levels of security achieved across the network.
- A stable and agile network allows for the deployment of innovative new projects in the communication and collaboration area of the business.
- Cost-effective, efficient solution, managed services provides monitoring and management of the Sea Harvest network with instant access to skilled technicians and advanced toolsets resulting in faster diagnoses and remediation.
“Improved networking solutions lead to customer issues being resolved faster with less cost.”
Promoting innovation through partnership
The successful working relationship between Logicalis SA and Sea Harvest and the completion of the SDWAN project allowed the team to address the ageing telephone/communication platform.
Communication and collaboration between users across the country and the wider region is critical in supporting efficient and effective business operations. Sea Harvest partnered with Vodacom to consolidate and improve the connectivity backbone to accommodate all 24 sites. Logicalis deployed their well-established and highly successful virtual PBX solution with each branch effectively becoming an extension on the platform. This translated into significant cost savings as inter-branch calling was free of charge.
Reliability was another key area of concern for the Sea Harvest’s team. In the past they relied on one link per site, which was characterised by slow and unstable connectivity. However, after incorporating the SD-WAN technology into their network infrastructure, Sea Harvest was able to transition to two links per site with an LTE failover and redundancy between the two links, thereby ensuring no more downtime as result of connectivity issues.
Part of any well-coordinated project is the huge amount of planning and preparation in the background. Using the tried and tested Project Definition Workshops and Project Management Tool Set, the Logicalis Team developed a deep understanding of the Sea Harvest user requirements. Historically, many Sea Harvest sites ran their own systems, companies that were acquired by Sea Harvest had different telephony systems and there was no consistency or standards across the organisation. This was a crucial element that needed to be addressed in the delivery of an effective, user-friendly system and this planned consolidation has started to yield significant efficiencies and cost savings.
The key challenge in the 12-month telephony project was to provide 100% redundancy at each location and to achieve the switchover to the new system seamlessly, without impacting the business operations.
Since the SDWAN solution's introduction, general productivity has significantly increased across all sites. This is best exemplified at the fish shop level. Sea Harvest operates around 15 "factory shops", retail outlets selling directly to customers. Given Sea Harvest's previous network infrastructure, outlets consistently struggled with connectivity and Internet access, negatively impacting sales and customer experience. Since transitioning over to an SDWAN solution, Sea Harvest has seen a reduction in downtime, resulting in increased productivity and sales.
In addition, the SDWAN solution has helped improve communication between management and employees, which has proved critically important given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. By incorporating the solution across all sites, employees now have access to safe and secure WiFi, resulting in improved internal communication and the sharing of information.
“The experienced project and technical team assigned to Sea Harvest were excellent and have since gone on to run several other projects with us. Logicalis's technical know-how and hands-on approach make them an invaluable partner to any business interested in embarking in digitally transforming their business on a similar journey,” said McPhail.
Change control and operations meetings were held on a weekly basis to ensure smooth operational support and continue open lines of communication.
As a proud partner, the Logicalis Team looks forward to a continued relationship with Sea Harvest and looks forward to assisting them in their digital transformation journey.