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SABMiller is one of the world's leading brewers with more than 200 beer brands and some 70,000 employees in over 75 countries.

SABMiller India also has growing soft drinks businesses and is one of the world's largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products. With the rapid growth in the number of branches and applications, the IT- Infrastructure and Security Team at SABMiller India decided to consolidate its IT Infrastructure. With this consolidation, there was an additional pressure placed on WAN bandwidth with latency issues persisting. It was quite a task for the IT department to deliver an acceptable user experience across the WAN network.

The implementation of SteelHead products yielded immediate and significant results. After the deployment, the company witnessed significant improvement in the application performance and found that there was no need to increase bandwidth. File transfers over the WAN are now 10 to 50 times faster depending on file size, emails are ten times faster, and Web applications are 15 times faster with SteelHead products.


IN BRIEF

Challenges

  • More than 30 locations across the country, each facing connectivity and latency problems
  • Poorly performing applications after consolidation efforts
  • Company’s growth plans had put additional pressure on WAN bandwidth requirements
  • Delayed replication of Domain Controllers and AD Services
  • Improvement of IT resources accessibility for mobile workers

Solution

  • Steelhead WAN optimization between Bangalore data center and 13 remote locations
  • Steelhead Mobile client software for mobile workers

Results

  • Significant improvement in application and infrastructure performance
  • Increase in speed and accessibility of IT assets from remote low-bandwidth locations where latency was an issue
  • Significant improvement in performance among mobile users
  • Postponed bandwidth investments, and in some cases the bandwidth has been reduced

SABMiller India

One of the World’s Leading Brewers Improves Employees’ Productivity with Riverbed Steelhead Products

The implementation of Riverbed Steelhead products yielded immediate and significant results. SABMiller India is not only witnessing significant improvement in application performance, but has also eliminated the need to increase bandwidth.

“Improving employee productivity and IT performance is the key to a successful enterprise, coupled with lower TCO is an added bonus. We were able to achieve all these with speed, accessibility, and improvement of performance of IT assets through implementation of Riverbed Steelhead solution which gave us instant 30% improvement with no additional investment on bandwidth.” —Ranendra K Datta, Vice President – IT & CIO, SABMiller India.

SABMiller: Company Profile

SABMiller is one of the world’s leading brewers with more than 200 beer brands and some 70,000 employees in over 75 countries. The group’s portfolio includes global brands such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft, and Grolsch; as well as leading local brands such as Aguila (Colombia), Castle (South Africa), Miller Lite (USA), Snow (China), Victoria Bitter (Australia) and Tyskie (Poland). SABMiller India also has growing soft drinks businesses and is one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.

The Challenge

SABMiller India, the second largest brewer in India and the world, has its offices, breweries, and depots spread over 30 locations in India.

With the rapid growth in the number of branches and applications, the IT- Infrastructure and Security Team at SABMiller India decided to consolidate its IT Infrastructure. With this consolidation, there was an additional pressure placed on WAN bandwidth with latency issues persisting. It was quite a task for the IT department to deliver an acceptable user experience across the WAN network.

SABMiller India also has some of its establishments in remote areas that have very low bandwidth. Users in these areas would experience high latency during data transfer and would also face frequently disconnected sessions. The application performance in these locations was very poor causing low efficiency and productivity in addition to end-user frustration. The main area of concern was delayed replication of Domain Controllers and Active Directory Services, and application performance for mobile workers. Users complained about slow email and delays with the in-house applications. The company wanted a solution that would improve productivity for employees on the road and in home offices.

Further complicating the situation was the fact that the company has multiple wide area network (WAN) operators connecting its central data centre in Bangalore. Due to multiple operators, the company needed a single solution to optimise its WAN network to address issues related to connectivity and latency without increasing the bandwidth across various locations.

The Solution

The IT- Infrastructure and Security team at SABMiller India, decided to deploy a solution that would address application performance issues across the WAN, deal with internal user and customer satisfaction challenges, meet consolidation goals, and enable faster access to mobile users spread across various locations.

The aim was to improve IT support requirements at the 13 remote locations and reduce efforts in managing WAN and mail related issues. The team took cognizance of limited bandwidth capacity that could have slowed the performance. This situation pestered the company to either opt for a W AN upgrade or implement a WAN optimisation solution.

The team finally decided to deploy Riverbed® Steelhead® appliances and Steelhead Mobile software: the highest performing and most scalable WAN optimisation solution to overcome both bandwidth and latency problems. Steelhead products had the potential to address the issues surrounding the IT infrastructure at SABMiller India and deliver LAN-like performance to branch offices or mobile workers across the globe. The decision to deploy Steelhead was jointly made by Riverbed Technology, SABMiller India, and M.Tech solutions, a partner of Riverbed Technology.

Results

The implementation of Steelhead products yielded immediate and significant results. After the deployment, SABMiller India witnessed significant improvement in the application performance and found that there was no need to increase bandwidth. File transfers over the WAN are now 10 to 50 times faster depending on file size, emails are ten times faster, and Web applications are 15 times faster with Steelhead products.

“The increase of speed and accessibility was very noticeable to our end users. A majority of our employees work with applications on terminal sessions, and they have experienced at least ten  times improvement in speed. Mobile users reported a significant improvement in the performance, saying that with Steelhead there is a “remarkable difference” in the way it loads the pages,” says Ranendra K Datta, Chief Information Officer, SABMiller India.

With faster applications for users at the remote sites of the company, it is now easier for the employees to work from anywhere.

“Improving employee productivity and IT performance is the key to a successful enterprise, coupled with lower TCO is an added bonus. We were able to achieve all these with speed, accessibility, and improvement of performance of IT assets through implementation of the Riverbed Steelhead solution, which instantly gave us 30% improvement with no additional investment on bandwidth,” added Datta.

Now, the IT department of SABMiller India is able to focus on strategic development projects and add more value in areas like assessment and deployment of new technologies.

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