With Aerohive, Aviation Services Firm Fixes "Piecemeal" Approach to Networking

By Jessica Binns, Contributing Editor — July 02, 2012

BCS (Baggage Control Services) Group, a baggage handling and logistics specialist and supplier of end-to-end solutions for the aviation industry, has deployed Aerohive Networks technology to create a secure, stable collaborative network environment for its distributed offices and project teams across the globe.

BCS chose the Aerohive solution for its ease of management, rich functionality and ability to provide an integrated wired and wireless network that will cost-effectively scale alongside business growth.

Headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, BCS Group employs 340 staff around the world. In addition to its three main data center offices in APAC, personnel operate from 30 remote offices spread across three continents. Its offices accommodate all functions, from software development, mechanical and design engineers, to administration, sales, and 24-hour maintenance and operation shift workers.

As the business grew, the company realized its piecemeal approach to networking was neither economically viable nor providing the technical capability to support its business operations. With 24/7 operations, and the increasing capacity demand of business-critical applications, such as 3D visualization software, BCS was pushing its wireless infrastructure to the limit. After experiencing a major outage with its payroll system, it was time to look for an alternative, standardized wireless infrastructure.

"Before it was a big challenge when we'd set up a project team utilising people skills from all over the world, but since the Aerohive network has been in place, it has pulled everything together," says Brett Hobbs, BCS Systems Architect Infrastructure Manager. "It is now easy to centralize all our information, and provide packages that everyone can use with an underlying network that is both stable and available."

BCS sought a technology partner that could enable remote office connectivity. Its other prerequisites included cost-effective and easy scalability for global needs, the ability to isolate guests and, crucially, the solution needed to be "zero touch" for IT.

The company was impressed by Aerohive's lean solution and its ability to scale at cost. The BR100 solution was particularly compelling, removing location from the equation by providing headquarters-like secure wired and wireless networking at any BCS office, however small or remote.

"One of the best features is that it's a really hands off product. The rules are set up and then the device just automatically configures," Hobbs explains. "I can now deploy other branch offices without having to be present; I just have to tell someone to plug it in. So it has saved on travelling time and cost. I have the peace of mind that when we deploy into another country I don't have to be there, as the solution and technology has proved itself."

BCS has implemented a combination of BR100s and Aerohive APs, as well as Aerohive's Cloud VPN Gateway (CVG) and Hive Manager Virtual appliance for zero touch deployment and centralised management and administration. The whole solution took just over a day to implement for the global rollout. Aerohive's ease of use, and simple configuration meant that within two days staff were fully familiar with the products. Now, all BCS locations act as one big virtual office. Regardless of location, employees are working and collaborating from one stable and secure network in real-time.

The cost-effective scalability of the Aerohive solution remains critical as the enterprise continues to grow. Aerohive has eliminated the previous complexity in setting up a new office. The IT team no longer faces a lengthy financial sign off process. Where it previously would cost thousands of dollars to establish an office, now it is only hundreds using an Aerohive AP or branch router.

Aerohive has significantly reduced management overhead for BCS. The simple cloud-based network solution has not only brought the IT team zero touch deployment for its dispersed working environment, but along with Hive Manager, has completely eliminated travelling requirements for diagnostics and support, now all controlled, configured and managed centrally. What's more, the network gives employees the mobility and real-time information they need to be productive.

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