​Salmat swaps expensive local telco contracts for VeloCloud

The company adopted an SD-WAN offering from VMware's VeloCloud.

Australian marketing services business Salmat started on its journey to the cloud around four years ago, implementing software-as-a-service offerings from the likes of Workday, Google, Okta, Zscaler, and Genesis.

Before shifting just about everything to the cloud, CTO David Glover said Salmat was essentially an on-premise organisation, boasting also 3,500 people in every state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.

With its cloud transformation pushing full steam ahead, Glover told VMware's vForum on Wednesday that it became pretty clear that having a wide area network (WAN) that terminated in a couple of datacentres didn't make a lot of sense.

"The other thing was we had some really quite expensive deals with local telcos that took a bit of those services, and about two years ago we saw we were about 18 months until those contracts were coming to an end and thought it was an opportunity for us to have a look at alternatives," he explained.

Glover said it was a perfect opportunity for the company to see if it could rearrange some of its spending and save money as a result.

"We have really quite expensive MPLS connections around Australia and into the Philippines," Glover continued.

"SD-WAN appeared on the scene and we actually looked at an alternative to VeloCloud and did some proofs of concept and proved to ourselves it was incredible technology."

Free download: Understanding SD-WAN best practices (TechRepublic)

Salmat turned to SD-WAN firm VeloCloud, which VMware scooped up in late 2017. But the company was only on Glover's radar after he'd advertised for an engineer and put SD-WAN in the advert.

"Daniel called me and said, 'Mate, do I have a solution for you'," Glover recalled.

"I've got a really good network team -- which I'm quite proud of -- and initially they were a little bit hesitant about it, but quickly like ducks to water took to it and realised they couldn't pick too many holes in the solution.

"We particularly like VeloCloud because we have running contact centres in the Philippines and we recognise VeloCloud is friendly to that sort of traffic."

While financial gain wasn't what Salmat had purely set out to achieve, Glover touched on the savings.

"When we finally got to turning off our contracts, we have saved -- I won't say an order of magnitude -- but pretty close to that in terms of our international network," he said.

He also said rollout was fairly seamless.

"We didn't want to be squeezed into rushing at the end so we started rolling it out slowly in site offices as the end was approaching and we were deploying right across end connections -- NBN, ADSL -- into all of our sites and gradually switching it over," Glover said.

"The deployment was very easy ... there was some little issues along the way, but the reality is the rollout was pretty seamless and as these things came on line we saw an improvement.

"In our Australian sites we were relying on a single MPLS connection into those and we need to deploy multiple, carrier diverse connections and we were paying less than we were before and we got redundancy which we didn't previously have."

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