Aruba Smart Workplace prepares finance specialist for business transformation
Vesting Finance has come a long way since its foundation in 1996. From two people offering a debt recovery service, the business is now a market Leader in financial servicing (from customer acceptance to payment), debt management and debt purchasing.
This period of growth saw the business expand to five offices, and 650 employees. The priority during Vesting Finance's next phase will be consolidation.
Physically, this means relocating to a new head office in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, and closing the five local offices. Culturally, it involves promoting mobile, flexible working. Staff will be able to work from anywhere, with the business better able to gather the right skills for specific projects.
Creating a wireless work experience
We're already seeing a more flexible approach to work. It's easier to bring teams together, and staff can remain productive while working away from the office. Bert Deelman, infrastructure manager, Vesting Finance
At the heart of the new Amersfoort head office (five floors in an existing but retrofitted office building) is an entirely wireless experience. Vesting Finance wanted staff to be able to hot desk from anywhere in the building, with the support of a room- and desk-booking app. The new building clears the path for this new way of working.
"The network solution had to be designed for scale, redundancy, protection from denial of operation, and the capacity to handle peak loads," says Bert Deelman, infrastructure manager, Vesting Finance. "The network must be able to provide resilient, intelligent transport, and be versatile enough to address the changing needs of our organisation."
The network solution should also support segmentation and virtualisation technologies, Deelman continues. "Longer term, we want to develop more location-based services. But the immediate focus was to open on time, with simple and effective access to our business applications, Citrix® XenDesktop VDI platform, CIC from Genesys for customer interaction and call centre services, Jira Issue & Project Tracking Software, Microsoft® Office 365 and Skype for Business. We wanted to make the most of these productivity tools."
The design and build of the new office was led by iL Project, but the responsibility for the IT infrastructure is in the hands of Unica Schutte ICT, a long-term supplier to Vesting Finance. "Unica Schutte ICT understand our requirements. We trusted them to propose a solution and integrate the technology."
Trust in the technology, confidence in the roadmap
Aruba was the immediate front-runner. "We were convinced of its roadmap, and trusted the technology," explains Deelman. "Plus, it had a strong relationship with Unica Schutte ICT. We didn't need to look any further."
The Aruba solution involves Aruba 300 series access points, 7205 mobility controllers, Aruba 2930 and 3810 switches, AirWave Network Management and ClearPass Policy Manager, along with ArubaOS 8 featuring a Mobility Conductor.
"Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager is the key component. Everything is integrated through ClearPass," says Hendry Scholing, solution architect, Unica Schutte ICT. "ClearPass allows Vesting Finance to get to grips with the entire network, wired and wireless."
Remote working to raise productivity
The new head office opened in November 2017, to schedule. Vesting Finance is spending the next year closing the five regional offices and transitioning staff to Amersfoort.
At launch the building provides the wireless experience demanded by Vesting Finance. Staff can work from anywhere within the building, with uninterrupted access to Office 365 and Skype for Business. Remote workers have the same access.
"We'll only see the true cost savings once all the old offices are closed," says Deelman, "but we're already seeing a more flexible approach to work. It's easier to bring teams together, and staff can remain productive while working away from the office."
"We wanted to pleasantly surprise everyone when they first visited our new head office. The wow factor was an important thing to consider when designing it. From good coffee and cool electronics to hot desking to achieve a great place to work. The success of the move is being able to work as a team - a team with good, knowledgeable, hard-working people. We've achieved the wow factor."
Simplified network & security policy management
Not only does Vesting Finance have a more appropriate network – and a network capable of supporting new ways of working, it also has a more efficient, easier to manage network. This is important. Unica Schutte ICT designed and implemented the solution, but it is Vesting Finance that will manage day-to-day operations.
The Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager allows Vesting Finance to create role-based network access. All ports are attached to ClearPass, and, with all access rights based on policy and configuration need only be created once. With sensitive personal and financial data being shared among colleagues, this ensures the correct level of control (and access).
"Policy management gets rid of manual switch configuration," says Scholing. "The network behaves according to policy."
ArubaOS 8 with Mobility Master runs in both Vesting Finance data centres, to provide extra redundancy. This also allows access points to be upgraded without downtime.
A platform for broader transformation
Amersfoort successfully delivers the first stage in Vesting Finance's broader, business transformation. Deelman says there is more to come, from the building and the business.
"Together with our facility department we want to start a Proof of Concept with location-based services. We have to brainstorm together with Aruba and Unica Schutte ICT about IoT, intelligent conference rooms, location services, and real-time monitoring," concludes Deelman. "We're a financial services company, and network security is of paramount importance to us. With Aruba we have a platform on which to manage access and innovation. The network is ready."
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