MacTel deploys SD-WAN services for potato farms

Macquarie Telecom will deploy its SD-WAN platform across Spudshed's 24 farming and retail sites in Western Australia.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Macquarie Telecom has announced being chosen to deploy software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) services for potato farming and retail company Spudshed.

Under the arrangement, MacTel will implement SD-WAN solutions across 24 farming and retail sites in Western Australia, with Spudshed operating nine stores and over 1,000 hectares of farmland.

According to MacTel, its SD-WAN platform will reduce Spudshed's outage risk by utilising dynamic packet routing across 4G, National Broadband Network (NBN), microwave, and private networks.

The SD-WAN service will automatically reroute the data within milliseconds in the case of an outage on one network using intelligent switching, with Spudshed saying its entire supply chain is affected when there are outages, spanning deliveries, transactions, and support staff.

Spudshed, which employs 900 people, said it is additionally "starting to analyse data on a daily, even hourly basis" amid a move to public cloud solutions.

"Having a reliable network is a must for keeping the lights on and managing that kind of activity," said Frankie Galati, CEO of Galati Group, which runs Spudshed, with the potato farming company currently trialling cloud services including ERP to consolidate systems across farming, point of sales, and stock management.

"The company will also use Macquarie's SD-WAN orchestrator to get better control over applications and websites being used. This will reduce strain on its networks and further optimise speed and performance by prioritising the most important workloads," MacTel added.

Macquarie Telecom has been increasing its SD-WAN business of late, in March similarly being chosen to deploy SD-WAN services for Hall & Prior Aged Care.

The SD-WAN service will allow for new audio and video conferencing solutions across the aged care provider's facilities in New South Wales and Western Australia, which Macquarie Telecom said would enable the company to "communicate more effectively and trial extra services to care recipients".

At the time, 80 percent of Hall & Prior's 25 nursing homes and two home care services had been transitioned to SD-WAN services, with the remaining 20 percent either under way or awaiting NBN connectivity.

"Digital voice and video services are the way of the future in our industry. We needed a platform that enabled us to deploy these services in a way that was reliable, secure, and benefited our care providers and recipients," Hall & Prior Aged Care ICT infrastructure manager Dan Beeston said in March.

"We're now moving towards a fully centralised model for voice and video services across all sites. We were hesitant about doing this under our former MPLS technology, as those networks were already constrained. However, the trials with SD-WAN have proven successful."

Macquarie Telecom earlier this year attributed its half-year revenue growth of 8 percent and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) growth of 18 percent to hosting and datacentres.

The carrier's telco business EBITDA dropped by 2 percent to AU$9.1 million due to the insourcing of a network operations centre (NOC) in Sydney, while its hosting arm experienced a 38 percent EBITDA jump to AU$13 million due to the boost it received by gaining protected-level cloud accreditation from ASD in September.

"Sustained growth in profitability over the last seven halves has allowed Macquarie to consider opportunities to invest for future growth," Macquarie Telecom CEO David Tudehope said in the financial results report.

"We are well positioned to continue to benefit from the megatrends of cloud and cybersecurity."

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