Smart manufacturing: How companies transform with help from Masergy

Manufacturers must balance competing priorities, reducing costs and improving efficiency all while making strides in digital innovation. But plotting the course toward smart manufacturing can be a complex IT paradigm shift. How do you accelerate the journey? Here is how three manufacturers use Masergy solutions to take smart manufacturing from a whiteboard concept to a tangible reality.

Smart manufacturing: Laying the foundation with network rejuvenation

Much like digital transformation, smart manufacturing hinges upon a clear understanding of the goals and prerequisites for success. At global high-tech manufacturer Entegris, CIO Don Knutson refers to the “consumerization of IT” as creating expectations that production lines can act much like smartphones do today.

“The first goal was to remediate our global IT infrastructure. But really what that did was lay the foundation for digital transformation.”

  • Vice President at IT Global Infrastructure Weber-Stephens Products
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To reach this level of manufacturing responsiveness, Knutson knew he had to start at the ground level— with the corporate network. “We have to start with a secure and stable foundation, which begins with our network,” explained Knutson. “Nothing can be started without a solid foundation and a high-performance environment. Our network is key.”

For Weber-Stephens Products, makers of the famous red Weber Grill, speedto-market is also vital. Much of Weber’s IT work is in the cloud, building ecommerce websites and new mobile applications. After an in-depth evaluation, the Vice President of IT Global Infrastructure identified more than 37 networking gaps that needed to be remedied as a prerequisite for their transformation.

At office furniture company Teknion, smart manufacturing is tied to enabling AI tools and securely maintaining a cloud-first strategy using what the CIO describes as “a single source of truth” for worldwide reliable connectivity from a central location. Their IoT strategy requires a strong network to collect massive amounts of data so it can analyze it, create dashboards, and make informed decisions about repairs and usage. Additionally, the company requires an unlimited number of virtual environments so it can securely “spin up” segmented networks to safely experiment with office occupancy sensors and digital services for customers.

Before partnering with Masergy, each manufacturer had great difficulty with multiple network providers, outages in multiple areas, and a cumbersome global infrastructure supporting its cloud applications. Addressing those challenges has allowed each IT team to pivot away from managing network infrastructure, so they can take a focused approach on AI. After implementing Masergy’s network services each company recognized unique results:

  • IT agility for digital services: Weber closed 37 IT gaps in 14 months, modernizing its infrastructure for ecommerce services delivered via AI and cloud applications
  • Accelerated production: Entegris increased the reliability of its global network services, reducing outages and time-to-connectivity for improved business continuity
  • IoT innovation: Teknion accelerated innovation by uniting all 30 global operations, critical business applications, and IoT initiatives into one transparent IT environment

“Masergy brings a great technology suite custom fit for each one of our sites, no matter how big or small,” he said. “And with a great management portal, we’re able to control the network and manage it for years to come.”

  • Vice President at IT Global Infrastructure Weber-Stephens Products

Agility, reliability, and customization

All three IT executives aim to provide a future-ready IT environment, which means creating a reliable network that is customized for their needs today, yet still responsive to future changes.

“We wanted a high performance network environment and a solution that was flexible, growing with new technologies in the future, and allowing us to leverage the best of both,” said Knutson.

“All of our sites are interconnected through the Masergy network. It’s just there for us all the time. I can’t stress enough the reliability issue, because even though we want to use a public cloud infrastructure, we have a lot of intellectual property that we need to be secure. We need high-quality and secure service for our applications.”

  • CIO at Teknion

In the end, smart manufacturing depends on a partnership that brings versatility, with the ability to drive change across more than just the network. Enterprises achieving accelerated innovation choose partners that address IT in totality—with comprehensive solutions that make the enterprise not only more agile and continually customizable, but also more secure.