The expansion of engineering consulting firm Aurecon’s global wide area network (WAN) has been vital to the company’s international reach, according to its global CIO.
Speaking at a recent media event in Sydney, Dawie Kotze said the company – which was established from the merger of Ninham Shand, Africon and Connell Wagner in March 2009 – needed a WAN solution to foster collaboration between business functions.
“A lot of things changed immediately [after the merger],” he said. “The company size doubled…and we had many time zones varying from New Zealand, Australia, South-East Asia, the Middle East and Africa.”
In addition to the dispersed nature of the newly founded company, Aurecon also faced the issue of how to integrate the technical capabilities of each organisation, which had a combined some 200 years of industry experience between them.
“It was a merger of equals and because of this, we had to really start from scratch,” Kotze said. “We had to sit down and incorporate the companies...[and] there were a lot of cultural differences that we had to challenge.”
Kotze deployed a solution from Reliance Globalcom, and this week announced it had extended this agreement to 30 new company sites located in a number of countries, including South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho and the United Arab Emirates.
Kotze said Aurecon sought an extension of its contract due to collaboration across a variety of nations became difficult and expensive due to network costs and internet speeds.
“Because of the merger there was a real mix of skills across different countries…[and] we had to share our work with each other,” he said. “The time zones are different so we have to make use of that difference.”
“To get that work sharing going, we had to move big files across oceans and across countries, and that was always going to be a challenge...those files have to be shifted and then you’ve got the problem when you have to merge IT environments,” Kotze said.
“The moment you start collaborating with these big files, you need bandwidth, and bandwidth costs money.
The contract extension provides higher bandwidth connectivity required for 3D modelling design projects and has resulted in a 30 per cent cost saving on network costs across the company’s Asia Pacific operation.
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