Multinational Shipping Company Reduces WAN Cost While Improving Performance

CHALLENGE

This U.S. multinational courier delivery services company literally spans the globe. In their highly-automated operation, a package arriving at a hub can be off-loaded from an incoming flight, sorted, and loaded for an outbound flight within fifteen minutes. The main hub processes more than two million packages a day. They employ almost half a million team members in more than 200 countries, all of whom are connected via the corporate WAN.

In a network deployed at such a large scale, the slightest inefficiency can snowball into a significant expense, affecting profits. Connectivity problems in a complex, global network can be difficult to troubleshoot, causing expensive downtime and missed delivery deadlines. The company looked to reduce WAN costs while maintaining the high availability and performance required to operate at a level their customers expect.

SOLUTION

The company chose to take advantage of the efficiency available through software-defined wide-area-networking (SD-WAN) as offered by Cisco’s IWAN solution. SD-WAN increases flexibility and functionality while eliminating the cost of purpose-built hardware and forklift upgrades. LiveAction’s LiveNX platform was an essential element of the solution.

LiveNX simplifies enforcement of service-level agreement metrics, a capability that was especially important in the company’s 8,000-router global network. The single-pane-of-glass interface enables network operation center (NOC) engineers to effortlessly manage resource usage and metering. The ability to have an end-to-end view of the network while being able to drill all the way down to the connection and interface level accelerates the detection and mitigation of quality-of-service (QoS) issues.

RESULTS

The solution was deployed across multiple business units on multiple continents. LiveNX proved its value during the pilot by resolving data black-hole issues that arose due to the complexity of the network. LiveAction provided extensive engineering support and training for the engineering and NOC teams to ensure a successful deployment. On-going interactive technical meetings assured that the company derived the maximum benefit from the solution. LiveNX provided flow and QoS visibility and control for the IT team to manage the company’s VoIP and video systems, plus application performance troubleshooting and resolution. For production IWAN deployment, LiveNX provided critical PfRv3 visibility. By taking advantage of the management and troubleshooting strengths of LiveNX, the company achieved the required performance and availability using lower cost WAN service provider connections. The telecom manager summed up the experience, “The LiveAction team provides superior engineering support to ensure maximum effectiveness.”

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