IPL were established in 1939 and has a long-established business growth plan through merger and acquisition. This included mergers with One51, Encore Plastics, Macro Plastics, Protech Plastics, and most recently (2019), Loomans Group.
IPL is a leading packaging provider, partnering with customers to deliver sustainable solutions to the food, consumer, agricultural, logistics and environmental end-markets.
IPL has 14 manufacturing facilities across Canada, US, UK, Ireland, and China.
IPL is split globally across three regions, EU, U.S., and Asia. Due to IPL business expansion strategy of mergers and acquisitions each region had their own disparate network and suppliers.
Each region incorporated a strategic network partner but additionally at some sites utilised completely independent local internet breakout.
IPL had adopted a Cloud first strategy and were migrating to Office 365 and Microsoft Azure where possible for core applications. Additionally, IPL had different domains in each global region meaning that regional access was required to some applications both Cloud and on-premise.
IPL needed a solution whereby staff had access to all applications no matter where they were located, they needed to have a consistent experience and the solution needed to provide security irrespective of location.
Soniza completed several requirement gathering exercises with the IT teams in each region to draw out functional and non-functional requirements and to understand the infrastructure in each location.
Additionally, Soniza worked with each of the core suppliers in each region I order that they understood the goals of the project and the challenges with IPL’s complex network.
Soniza created a strategy which included different partners cooperating, triaging faults across multiple network architectures and crucially worked in partnership to provide a coherent solution to the business.
Soniza created a Supplier Engagement Plan which clearly mapped how the network of each supplier and how it interconnected with one another, showing points of demarcation, and committing suppliers to jointly take responsibility for the entire network.
Soniza helped define the service each supplier was going to provide and this included direct routes into Microsoft Azure, regional and global access to applications and consistent interfaces.
Soniza also worked on IPLs future network including the introduction of SD-WAN.
An SD-WAN solution was able to provide transparency and reporting across all networks irrespective of who the supplier was. This was critical in order that future acquisitions could be incorporated quickly into the IPL cloud.
IPL were able to provide standard SLA’s across their different supplier networks, to have stakeholders within each supplier who committed to working cohesively and provide staff with a secure fit for purpose network.
The introduction of SD-WAN has meant that the network can be managed proactively and easily with a reduced management overhead and reduced cost.
By implementing the strategy which Soniza created IPL is now able to easily onboard new acquisitions and see network transparency from day 1.
Through the creation of the Supplier Engagement Plan, IPL now has a single document which can be used to manage suppliers and all suppliers are working with a common goal for IPL benefit.
The solution implemented has meant that IPL can take advantage of Microsoft’s global backbone network in order to access applications faster irrespective of location.
The ability to now see application network requirements and proactively manage each site based on task has been invaluable to the IT team who now have the information needed to provide a consistent experience for users.