Kramp's growth over the recent years has resulted in a situation where the company had to maintain and manage multiple, different WAN and security solutions and technologies. In response, Kramp would go on to select Expereo to do the actual roll-out and management of the SASE solution, including the internet connectivity underlay.
From MPLS to SASE
Kramp operates right across Europe, with offices in many countries from Russia to the United Kingdom and from the Nordics to Italy, as well as a purchasing office in China. Jos Nieuwenhuis, Enterprise Architect at Kramp: “In our WAN landscape, several branch offices were connected via outsourced MPLS connections and other branch offices via VPN connections in combination with internet connectivity which we managed in house. At some locations, we used internet connections that were sourced locally which made it even more difficult to communicate with the provider.”
Kramp has undergone strong growth in recent years, both organically and through several acquisitions. This resulted in a situation where the company had to maintain and manage multiple, different WAN and security solutions and technologies, which was highly inefficient in terms of cost and labour.
At that point in time, the company had no full control, no clear performance indicators, and lacked overall insight into the network and its true cost. Kramp decided to standardize to improve efficiency, performance and manageability.
Take the lead in digital transformation
When it comes to digitization within the sector, Kramp wishes to take and retain the lead. Therefore, the company embraces the cloud and continues to work on further development of its webshop, the Kramp app and other technologies. One of the things the Kramp team asked themselves during this digital transformation was which parts of their IT environment they needed to keep in-house, and which not.
Jos Nieuwenhuis: “WAN technology has become more of a commodity over the past few years. We realized that if we could source this as a service the people within our organization could focus on processes and functional management. With this approach, our IT staff no longer has a technical, but more of a business consultancy role.”
Jos Nieuwenhuis evaluated several options and vendors in the market against Kramp’s key requirements: native cloud support, improved efficiency and higher performance. Jos Nieuwenhuis: “Cato Networks’ SASE solution was one of the solutions we investigated. SASE stands for Secure Access Service Edge, a uniform global network and security platform for all connectivity requirements, governed by one global policy. We concluded this was the solution we were looking for. Cato really is a true cloud solution, not a legacy technology which was ‘rebuilt’ to become cloud enabled. And the fact that connectivity and security are combined within one single solution will help us drive down cost and improve our internal customers’ experience.”
The collaboration with Expereo
Kramp selected Expereo to do the actual rollout and management of the SASE solution, including the internet connectivity underlay. Jos Nieuwenhuis: “There are a number of reasons why we chose Expereo. First, we need a stable and reliable partner for Kramp, who can deliver the personal attention we need. We were looking for a partner who thinks along with us, and that is exactly what we found. The people at Expereo have a lot of knowledge and experience and the collaboration is highly transparent, on the commercial side as well as the technical side. This gave us the confidence to partner with Expereo for our next gen WAN.”
The SASE implementation
The roll-out of the SASE network started in February 2020, with the objective to migrate more than 20 Kramp subsidiaries before the end of the year. Jos Nieuwenhuis: “The roll-out is proceeding fast, we expect that all locations will be live in November. Last year we acquired a company in Spain which we want to migrate onto Kramp IT standards. The fact that the schedule is proceeding fast, allowed us to also migrate these nine subsidiaries to Expereo managed SASE before the end of the year.”
Experiences with Expereo
Jos Nieuwenhuis: “Expereo managed to keep customer service at a high level. Our engineers also experience a very good cooperation with the people at Expereo. What I appreciate is the transparency and the open conversations we have with them. With Expereo, you know where you stand.
Business and technical benefits
Kramp experiences various clear benefits from the managed SASE solution from Expereo. Jos Nieuwenhuis: “What I particularly like about the solution are the flexibility and speed, which also help us to speed up other projects.
We have also achieved major cost efficiencies. Phasing out our MPLS connections leads to a very positive return on investment. Replacing MPLS with internet connections – which are very stable and reliable in Western Europe – was a big driver for the cost reductions we wanted to achieve. Traffic optimization within the managed SASE network ensures that we need less bandwidth than before. This built-in efficiency allows us to minimize the costs of our WAN without sacrificing performance.
Finally: because security is included in the SASE network, we have better grip on our security and can achieve additional cost reductions. Thanks to the consolidated solution, we were able to phase out various security point solutions and terminate service contracts we no longer needed. Summarizing: we were able to improve services for our internal customers, place more focus on our core business, improve security and achieve significant cost reductions. For Kramp, moving to the managed SASE solution from Expereo has proved to be a very strong business case.”
Kramp started out in 1951 as a small, one-man operation. Today, it is one of the largest, fastest growing technical wholesalers of parts and accessories for Europe’s agricultural sector.
As a one-stop supplier, Kramp stands out by offering added value as a technical specialist and strategic partner. Since its foundation, the company has consistently pursued a single goal: to make work as easy and efficient as possible for its customers. Kramp has 2,600 dedicated employees who always go the extra mile to support their customers, ensuring they never experience downtime.