Skyline Enterprises was established in 1966 and has become a major tourism operator in New Zealand. Its success has been largely built on the strength of their gondola and luge businesses in Queenstown and Rotorua, both of which have become iconic NZ attractions.
As Skyline looked to expand its operations into new markets in the Asia Pacific region, they were faced with a common dilemma—the network is more critical than ever, but the expense of MPLS bandwidth was discouraging.
“Customers and employees complain when applications take too long to respond or time out,” says Matt Tucker, information systems manager. “Work comes to a halt when employees lose access to ERP, CRM, and other enterprise applications, which in turn could cause negative impact on a customer’s perception of the organisation.”
Increasing performance and capability of mission-critical applications for remote users while reducing operational WAN spend was the goal. With Citrix SD-WAN, Skyline effectively and economically increased WAN throughout while accelerating and ensuring the best performance for enterprise applications.
Skyline partnered with Inde Technology, a leading networking solutions provider and New Zealand’s only Citrix specialists in networking for data centers and application delivery, to implement and manage their Citrix SD-WAN environment.
“We are customer-focused and committed to providing a unique skillset and strong support,” says Inde Cloud Architect Rik Roberts. “Working with customers like Skyline to deliver the best outcomes for their business is what we pride ourselves on.”
Delivering critical business applications and improving performance to remote sites
With Skyline’s rapid expansion plan, their network connectivity and bandwidth became imperative to success. It is not always viable to simply increase bandwidth in Asia Pacific sites, and even when it is possible, it can be a costly and ineffective solution.
With the implementation of Citrix SD-WAN, Skyline was able to easily support the addition of new or existing sites, even when MPLS WAN was not available. This greatly improved performance of the business-critical applications, with SD-WAN appliances dynamically choosing the best path for each service.
Improving productivity and user experience across the network
As applications become more and more reliant on networks to operate, user experience dictates how the application is used. Even more importantly in a digital world, it decides how your entire company is viewed by the public. Where this isn’t possible, productivity plummets as core applications, remote applications, voice-over-IP (VoIP), and video conferencing connections suffer from jitter or disconnects.
The introduction of Citrix SD-WAN to the network enabled Skyline to prioritize key applications and ensure bandwidth to deliver the best user experience. The reporting and analytics available within the application also provide visibility to the IT team, allowing them to proactively manage the user experience.
“The tools available within Citrix SD-WAN mean our team can monitor bandwidth across applications,” Tucker says. “No more wondering who or what is using the available bandwidth, and that is a win for the user and the company.”
Flexibility of WAN provider independence
With Citrix SD-WAN, Skyline has had the flexibility to change providers without any impact to services. Internet and data center traffic remain uninterrupted as IT removes an existing WAN link cable from the appliance and inserts the new provider’s cable.
In addition, it gives Skyline the ability to reduce the cost by downsizing the WAN link and increasing the size of the less expensive, plain internet link. This, multiplied by several current and proposed sites, has seen significant savings and contributed to the ROI.
“Moving to SD-WAN reduced our monthly costs significantly. We have seen a ROI in 10 months, and the savings are ongoing,” says Tucker.