Dole protects global food quality with high-performance SD-network

With a history that dates back to 1851, Dole has grown into an industry leader delivering a broad range of food products and markets all around the world. Their legacy in providing and preserving nutritious, farm-fresh produce that tastes delicious starts with one simple principle: quality. Dole ensures consistency in its packaged fruits but also focuses on responsible farming practices, environmental sustainability, and food safety programs.

And Dole’s commitment to quality doesn’t stop there. Executives see the company’s IT infrastructure as a key link in their ability to maintain product consistency, particularly as the company grows internationally. Exceeding expectations requires Dole’s systems and applications to be up and running for packaging facilities as well as new agriculture partners in Europe and Asia, where Dole is expanding its presence.

Dole’s IT leaders knew that making services both reliable and sustainable across the globe would require changes in their network service. Dole IT leaders explained how they were unsatisfied with the cost and quality provided by their existing provider. “Our service was brutally expensive and very unreliable,” they explained. “Plus, the support was also unreliable. There was no other alternative but to look for another provider.”

In their search, Dole leaders needed a high-performance network with a wider global reach, but agility was also important. “We were expanding very rapidly and wanted to achieve the same product quality that we have in the U.S. also in Europe and Asia,” they said. Most of all, they wanted to avoid putting more burden on their IT team. “We didn’t want to build a big network operations center just to watch traffic. For our business, a fully managed service made more sense.”

“With our previous provider, we would go down hard for days. So, we were on the phone with them all the time. With Masergy, we don’t recall one instance where we were down hard at any of our sites.”

— Dole IT leaders

A global, SD-network service

Dole called on its partner at ComputaCenter for recommendations, which is when IT leaders were introduced to Masergy. “We tested three providers, and Masergy handled support requests almost instantaneously. That was a sigh of relief compared to where we had been,” they said. “Quick service changes and the dynamic assignment of bandwidth—those two features also put an exclamation point next to Masergy.”

After four months, 12 Dole network locations were transitioned to Masergy’s software-defined network services, including sites in the Netherlands, England, Canada, and the U.S. Three plants in the U.S. include direct cloud interconnections to Amazon Web Services, providing a backbone for critical facilities and operations.

Enabling growth with reliable production

Putting the highest quality food on tables around the world is that much easier now that all global packaging facilities and their employees have reliable 24/7 access to management systems, ERP applications, and critical information. Masergy’s service has made a night-and-day difference in Dole’s network, delivering predictable application experiences.

“With our previous provider, we would go down hard for days. So, we were on the phone with them all the time. With Masergy, we don’t recall one instance where we were down hard at any of our sites. The service is exponentially better,” Dole IT leaders said. IT management is easier now, too. For example, network visibility for security purposes has improved, as has monitoring replication traffic for data backups that protect business continuity.

More bandwidth at a lower cost

WAN circuit costs were reduced by 45%, and the flexibility of the service allowed Dole IT leaders to right size their bandwidth, reallocating unused resources for more efficient utilization. “We were able to increase bandwidth at a lower cost, and where we didn’t need the full contracted amount of bandwidth, we were able to bring that down dynamically,” they explained.

Recognized results

  • Reduced WAN costs by 45%
  • Enabled rapid, global growth
  • Enhanced reliability for global operations
  • Increased IT team productivity

Self-service control

The network has remained “wonderfully reliable” even through the fast-moving changes of the pandemic, according to Dole IT leaders. They rapidly expanded VPN connections and needed to move an office from Paris to Rotterdam during the height of the lockdowns when accessing buildings and reconfiguring on-premise firewalls came with many roadblocks. Helping Dole overcome these challenges, Masergy brought VPN solutions that enabled employees to securely access Dole’s ERP and cloud environments regardless of their location. They said, “It all went swimmingly. We never heard one complaint.”

About ComputaCenter

Computacenter is a leading independent technology partner trusted by large corporate and public sector organisations. We help our customers to source, transform and manage their IT infrastructure to deliver digital transformation.

About PlanetOne

PlanetOne is the IT channel’s preferred technology sourcing partner for identifying and delivering cloudbased and connectivity solutions to small and mid-size businesses and enterprises.

Interested in learning more about SD-WAN?

Call us now to arrange a consultation (855) 238-1463.
Or arrange for a consultation through our request form.