T-Systems' Network-in-a-Box enables businesses to instantly open new branches
By Louis Kirstein, DSM Expert: Connectivity Services at T-Systems South Africa.
Local businesses expanding operations in new locations, franchise sites, pop-up stores, short-term leases and other in-branch opportunities can now instantly connect to their broader corporate infrastructure and to the external Internet, while maintaining compliance to corporate and other legal policies. T-Systems South Africa is addressing this requirement with the launch of its "Network-in-a-Box" solution.
Network-in-a-Box is a comprehensive solution that connects businesses in a matter of hours, carrying through all of the organisation's network and user identity policies, and enabling secure access to company systems.
"We're dramatically simplifying and accelerating the process of setting up shop in a new location," notes T-Systems Portfolio Manager for Connectivity and Networks, Louis Kirstein.
"Everything is immediately available, from your active directory, to your security protocols, IP telephony systems, payment platforms, guest access policies, cloud business services, and any other systems available on the corporate network."
By removing configuration and set-up hassles, Network-in-a-Box enables businesses to open their doors and begin trading far quicker than before, he explains.
Previously, businesses would often have to wait for connectivity to be made available, and then painstakingly integrate network policies into the new site, delaying the opening of the new branch.
As successful South African businesses expand into new regions across different provinces, Kirstein adds that Internet access is often a challenge. Network-in-a-Box leverages whatever connection is available, from fixed-line options like fibre and DSL, to wireless services like 3G and LTE, private networks like MPLS, and even satellite.
"We're able to use and to consolidate connectivity from any of these sources, to ensure sufficient throughput and ultimately the smooth delivery of business and transactional services."
As new infrastructure becomes available, Network-in-a-Box easily accommodates the increased bandwidth.
With low upfront costs, and no ongoing longer-term commitment, many organisations may deploy Network-in-a-Box for a limited period, as they get up and running, before replacing it with more permanent networking solutions later on.
But Kirstein points out that other businesses may well continue to use the service permanently.
Network-in-a-Box is ideally suited to:
* Retail: franchise and pop-up store environments, as well as other temporary installations such as mass sporting and music events, stores in shopping malls undergoing renovations, stores at commuter networks, and sites where businesses may simply be 'testing the waters' in terms of viability.
* Automotive: temporary installations when expanding operations to include vehicle servicing and other franchise requirements.
* Manufacturing: connecting disparate operations across plants and manufacturing facilities.
"The solution was designed based on a clear need to help our clients to become more agile," adds Kirstein.
There are certain key sectors, such as retail, automotive and manufacturing that are becoming more dynamic in their approach to rolling out new points-of-presence as well as new points of production, especially for small crews. Locations are becoming less static and permanent.
Network-in-a-Box is aimed at serving this need for increased agility.
Kirstein reflects on T-Systems' depth of experience in integrating services into policy-based environments: "We've taken our global best practices in terms of information security and privacy, such as our expertise in ITIL, for example, and combined that with a commitment to absolutely zero outage."