Leading Steel Manufacturer Gets a Major Network Performance Boost
Ausreo, one of the largest independent suppliers of reinforcing steel in Australia, is focused on re-configuring business processes and digitally transforming the way it operates to move closer to its customers. The company’s data networks are a critical part of enabling this transformation. Ausreo turned to Sinefa to improve and protect the performance of these networks, as well as gain much needed visibility and control of network traffic across its 13 sites.
Ausreo’s focus on improving business processes and digital transformation means its data networks are critical to future success. The reinforced steel manufacturer operates a highly automated, just in time manufacturing process producing millions of tonnes of steel annually. Sinefa was overlaid on their Telstra network, providing additional visibility and control across 13 branch sites. The enhanced network performance allowed the company to quickly identify issues impacting application performance and reduce calls to the help desk. Sinefa is now “standard equipment” for all new Ausreo sites.
Ausreo has grown rapidly from inception in 2000 to take an increasing share of the $1 billion steel reinforcing sector in Australia. Its investment in steel manufacturing automation is helping customers construct faster and with greater certainty.
Ausreo is moving closer to its customers, not only in terms of physical locations, but also the way that it collaborates with them throughout the construction cycle. This is being achieved by automating the way that data is collected and converted into information to give customers the ability to self-serve, which in turn allows employees to work on more complex issues.
“With our processing environment and customer support offices linked to the network, the network is vital to the productivity of our employees and increased margins,” said Brendon Kelly, Information Systems Manager for Ausreo. “In turn, this means that any network dropouts or performance issues have a significant impact on all aspects of our business.”
Network and application performance issues were becoming a challenge for the internal IT team, who are mainly focused on improving business processes, rather than technical issues. It was difficult to identify congestion and why the network felt slow. This impacted productivity, particularly with 30-40 people employed at each site.
Ausreo deployed a Telstra hosted network service in 2012 to improve its networking, which included thin client architecture. Its manufacturing applications required virtualised server assets with HTTP based traffic. The company also implemented Telstra’s IP Telephony (TIPIT) solution across the same fibre network.
However, Ausreo was still experiencing application performance issues. The manufacturer needed to add another layer to enhance the performance of its networks, improve productivity and protect its manufacturing production machines.
Telstra and partner Strong Solutions recommended Sinefa’s network traffic visibility and control solution. After a demo at its Head Office, Ausreo was convinced.
“Sinefa worked straight away – it was instant gratification,” Kelly said. “The problems at our head office were resolved within days and it was clear Sinefa was the solution we needed”. It was so well received that our CEO and CFO signed on the dotted line the week after the trial finished.”
Ausreo immediately deployed Sinefa across its entire network, which has given the company control of the network down to the application layer. “Sinefa enables us to quickly drill down, resolve issues and shape the traffic accordingly,” Kelly said. “It just works so well.”
Our relationship with Telstra has significantly improved and we are now reviewing other services.
“Since we installed Sinefa, I’ve received three recorded episodes of a reported perceived networking issue,” Kelly said. “However, Sinefa proved that it wasn’t the network itself – it was actually our managed service. Being able to attribute where an issue is and fix it is invaluable. It inherently means that people have more time to get on and do their jobs.”
Sinefa has also resulted in a huge drop in third party support costs with Telstra, as well as savings on outsourcing charges to external technical resources. With the right analysis now on network traffic and performance, Ausreo can target spend in the right places, rather than simply throwing money on more bandwidth, when it fact it wasn’t the problem. Now due to natural growth, Ausreo needs that increased bandwidth, but Sinefa has shown that it does not have to go beyond that.
“Having Sinefa as an extra layer of network protection and monitoring is hard to put a dollar figure on, but if we pulled it out, we’d know all about it,” Kelly commented. Now when we build a new site, Sinefa is standard equipment – it’s so easy to use and rollout.”
“Sinefa proved that the problem wasn’t the network itself – it was actually our managed service. Being able to attribute where an issue is and fix it is invaluable. It inherently means that people have more time to get on and do their jobs.”
Information Systems Manager at Ausreo