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Groupe Mornay is the one of the leading players in the social welfare sector, providing complementary pension schemes and group and individual protection to its members across France. Groupe Mornay, which employs 2100 people, is headquartered in Paris with six regional divisions, each employing between 80 and 400 employees, and a few regional offices, each employing up to 10 employees. The company has a total of 1,100 users.


IN BRIEF

Industry

  • Finance - Insurance

Challenges

  • Enable access to file collaboration software
  • Improve employee collaboration
  • Increase user productivity across the organisation

Solution

  • 41 Riverbed Steelhead appliances
  • Riverbed Central Management Console (CMC)

Benefits

  • Avoided a costly server implementation programme
  • Improved employee collaboration and productivity
  • 20x performance improvement in MAPI, CIFS, HTTP and HTTPS

Groupe Mornay chooses Riverbed to improve user productivity and reduce bandwidth costs

Groupe Mornay is the one of the leading players in the social welfare sector, providing complementary pension schemes and group and individual protection to its members across France. Groupe Mornay, which employs 2100 people, is headquartered in Paris with six regional divisions, each employing between 80 and 400 employees, and a few regional offices, each employing up to 10 employees. The company has a total of 1,100 users.

ARAMICE is the IT center for Groupe Mornay, Groupe AUDIENS and Groupe NOVALIS-TAITBOUT providing IT, office applications, and telecommunication services. ARAMICE employs approximately 350 people in-house and outsources to a further 350 external providers and technical consultants.

Challenge: Despite increasing bandwidth to 45Mbps, users were still experiencing delays in accessing files

Groupe Mornay was under increasing pressure to improve user access to applications. Users were complaining that it was taking too long to download files over the wide area network (WAN) and overall performance was being adversely affected.

ARAMICE increased bandwidth to 45Mbps for the regional offices in the hope that this would improve application performance. However, the increase had little impact and users continued to complain about slow download times. At the same time, ARAMICE wanted to consolidate the IT infrastructure into a central location, although there was concern that this project would require new proxy servers to be deployed and managed. A focus group was formed with the purpose of finding a solution to these problems.

The focus group from ARAMICE consisted of Patrick Demeester, assistant chief functional and technical officer, Philippe Etourneau, architecture and infrastructure director, Anthony Guillaumin, network team manager, and Roland Kayal, network engineer. The group identified their key priorities as reducing network latency, improving user satisfaction and delivering a return on investment (ROI) back to Groupe Mornay. The ROI was based not just on lowering infrastructure costs and increasing productivity, but also improving user experience.

Solution: Riverbed Steelhead appliances outperform the competition

The focus group was introduced to WAN optimization by their Service Provider and together they tested offerings from four vendors; Cisco, Packeteer, Expand and Riverbed.

Roland Kayal, network engineer, undertook the project of testing the hardware and located the tests at the regional division in Lyon. Kayal explains, “We tested all of the products extensively in a live environment, focussing on the different types of acceleration and comparing and analyzing the performance.” He continues, “We wanted a non-intrusive solution that would work with our existing Cisco network. We didn’t want to change our existing architecture and we wanted maximum transparency in terms of application and network behaviour.” Other prerequisites included no proxy management and service continuity in the event of an interruption.

Kayal recalls, “From the results it was clear that the Riverbed Steelhead appliances had outperformed the others. We saw a 10x reduction in bandwidth capacity, but more importantly we saw a huge reduction in the time taken to download and transfer files. Files that used to take 15 minutes to download where reduced to just 3-4 minutes with the Steelhead appliances.”

Benefits: Users contact the IT department to find out why they can now download files so quickly

Groupe Mornay has currently deployed Steelhead appliances in each of its six regional divisions and also at 10 of the regional offices. “The integration went very smoothly,” says Kayal. “We simply plugged the appliances in and they worked immediately. We’ve also had no ongoing management or maintenance issues, so we’re really pleased with Riverbed.” ARAMICE also installed the Riverbed Central Management Console (CMC), which provides visibility into the health and performance of the Steelhead appliances, and simplifies the ongoing configuration and management of distributed appliances.

Since deploying the Riverbed Steelhead appliances, Groupe Mornay has seen major productivity gains and a clear improvement in working conditions for the regional sites. File transfer time has been reduced by an average of 85%. The benefits have been so good that even users have noticed. “The IT department was suddenly getting calls from users wanting to know what was going on,” recalls Kayal. “They were seeing an immediate improvement in the time taken to download and transfer files, and they wanted to know what we’d done to improve application performance.”

Another benefit involved the intelligent set up of the Steelhead appliances. By accelerating traffic to optimize line usage and compress file size, ARAMICE did not have to deploy proxy servers. This has saved the company money in terms of both hardware and administration costs, and ARAMICE has also avoided the backup issues inherent with proxy servers. ARAMICE has also re-engineered the technology and the capacity of the bandwidth used by Groupe Mornay, enabling it to reduce its lease charges, a saving that is estimated at around 65% per annum.

With the Steelhead appliances installed, ARAMICE is now also able to begin work on the IT centralization project. Kayal concludes, “When the focus group looked at our criteria for success, Riverbed ticked all of the boxes.

SUMMARY

ARAMICE, the IT center of Groupe Mornay, had previously increased its bandwidth capacity to a 45Mbps line to reduce latency and improve application performance over the wide area network (WAN). However, the increased bandwidth had little impact and users continued to experience poor performance. Following the installation of 16 Steelhead appliances and the Central Management Console (CMC), users were quick to contact the IT department to find out why they could now access applications so quickly. Groupe Mornay also experienced a 10x reduction in bandwidth utilization and is now able to commence an IT centralization project.

We saw a 10x reduction in bandwidth capacity and files that used to take 45 minutes to download where reduced to just 3-4 minutes with the Steelhead appliances.

We simply plugged the appliances in and they worked immediately.

The IT department was suddenly getting calls from users wanting to know what we’d done to improve application performance.

Related Products

SteelCentral Controller for SteelHead

Simplify SteelHead optimization deployments with a central web interface for administration, policy configuration and overview of application performance.
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