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How A1 Technologies helped JD Sports save thousands in WAN costs

How A1 Technologies helped JD Sports save thousands in WAN costs

Moved the retailer to the NBN and Fortinet SD WAN

A1 Technologies' Rob Rattray.

A1 Technologies' Rob Rattray.

Credit: A1 Technologies

Managed service provider A1 Technologies has landed a project with sportswear retailer JD Sports to design and deploy a Fortinet SD WAN solution with a helping hand from Exclusive Networks. 

The UK-headquartered multi-channel retailer opened its first physical stores in Australia in early 2017 and expanded to opening 25 stores as of July this year.

All this rapid expansion came with increasing connectivity and WAN costs. 

JD Sports Fashion CFO, Mark Woodhouse said it had been with its previous vendor for several years so there was familiarity and history, but it was running a legacy private WAN environment, which was stable, but very expensive.  

“We knew there had been advancements in the SD WAN space and wanted to explore them. Internet and connectivity appeared to be getting cheaper but our cost per site seemed to be ever increasing,” Woodhouse said. 

In addition to the increasing WAN costs to service their new stores, JD were facing challenges in customer service support for the agile and fast paced nature of their operations. Sites were often going down unexpectedly, services were being disconnected with limited warning, and communication response times were lagging.

The new SD WAN project commenced 12 months ago, with A1 undertaking a comprehensive review of JD’s operations including current technologies, commercial processes, and store requirements. A1 initially began engaging with JD Sports as part of a Microsoft 365 migration project, which is still ongoing. 

Based on the review, A1, in conjunction with the team from Exclusive Networks, was able to design and deploy a Fortinet SD WAN solution which involved decommissioning the ageing and expensive MPLS network and bringing the hosted firewall in-house to increase flexibility and visibility.

The project also involved transitioning from expensive 10Mb and 20Mb fibre services to NBN 100/40 at retail stores and fast fibre at key locations such as the head office and warehouse; and deploying FortiGate SD-WAN IPsec failover to ensure connectivity and redundancy.

As a result, JD Sports was able to realise a 40 per cent reduction in their annual WAN costs while increasing network visibility, flexibility, and scalability. 

“When we looked at the numbers, we were able to save over $100,000 a year in data costs moving to an NBN/SD WAN solution,” Woodhouse said.

“We focus on deploying solutions that deliver tangible value to our customers, the outcome is always the number one priority. The A1 team and Exclusive Networks did a great job in designing a solution that improved JD’s technical capabilities and operations, while reducing costs,” A1 Technologies sales director, Rob Rattray added. 

Operationally, JD saw benefits from a more personal and responsive service from A1 Technologies, focusing less on managing their IT and putting their efforts towards growing their business.

“It’s always good to see partners making use of the in-house skills that we provide as a Value-Add distributor. By including the Exclusive Networks dedicated Fortinet Pre-Sales team the A1 team were able to cover all possible nuances and make the most of Fortinet’s Secure SD WAN ability, developing a cost effective, security first SD WAN solution that was ideal for the customer,” Exclusive Networks managing director, Jonathan Odria said. 


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