Magazine Button
KEO International transforms networking and drives Digital Transformation with NetFoundry

KEO International transforms networking and drives Digital Transformation with NetFoundry

Case StudiesDigital TransformationNetworkingTop Stories

As a globally ranked interdisciplinary architecture, engineering and planning firm, KEO International Consultants takes its clients from inspiration – through conceptualisation – to the realisation of design and project delivery. KEO leads with vision, contributing to many of the world’s most ambitious projects, iconic places, remarkable experiences and prosperous communities. KEO collaborates with its clients to ‘articulate the future’.

KEO’s success is powered by the expertise of its professionals from over 60 nations and experience in every major market of the globe. Operating in seven countries, it is imperative for KEO to build a profound sense of purpose by fostering and compelling collaboration and by recognising mutual responsibility of its employees for success.

The firm recognised that to unlock the creative potential of its people and organisation required the transformation of its networking environment to better support its employee’s connectivity from project locations around the globe, as well as improve connectivity to global branch offices and support remote users working from home.

The firm undertook a strategic initiative guided by its CIO Damir Jaksic to transform its network infrastructure to enhance connectivity for users from anywhere to anywhere, connecting the services across the branches and Azure Cloud services in a secure, agile, simplified, high performance and cost-effective way. As with most distributed organisations that operate on a global scale, securing remote access for employees working home is a key priority for KEO. 

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, NetFoundry was introduced to the KEO team. KEO needed to address the high cost of existing MPLS private circuits and poor performance for connecting users from different branch offices. KEO was planning to decommission its MPLS circuits. The existing VPN technology being used to connect branch offices also lacked modern security and was deemed insufficient. KEO was also building out its public cloud environment hosted in Azure West Europe and, with NetFoundry, implemented secure micro-segmented connections to Azure with a single software-defined network.  

Network transformation drives Digital Transformation

KEO’s network transformation journey included NetFoundry software being deployed on different endpoint device form factors, on an instance on Azure, on virtual machines at all KEO branches and offices. Policies defining secure access to services, software and locations were quickly set with NetFoundry’s cloud-native management to establish zero trust connectivity. KEO selected NetFoundry’s Zero Trust Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) Platform for a number of reasons, including:

  • Agility: delivers very secure and reliable connectivity with an estimated 60% improvement in operational efficiency
  • Software-defined: eliminates the need to provision private circuits, acquire or manage hardware
  • NaaS: full OPEX model, with all infrastructure managed by NetFoundry
  • Cost reduction: Estimated at more than 50% reduced costs compared to legacy MPLS
  • Simplification: Implemented a single, globally capable Zero Trust and SASE environment
  • Future proof: Provides a foundation supporting any use case

As outlined by KEO, NetFoundry demonstrated value by supporting multiple use cases including user connectivity from anywhere and implemented superior all-in-one cloud native WAN connectivity that supports KEO to transform its network, establishing a clear path to digitally transform the organisation.

Now, KEO has a fully programmable cloud-native global network fabric that abstracts away complexity and can now dial up new networks in minutes. Because the NetFoundry Platform is operated as NaaS, KEO no longer must allocate IT resources to managing network hardware. KEO can put its focus and align resources on creating new business value for clients.

Summarising the benefits 

KEO leadership expressed that they were most impressed with the ease of the set-up and configuration of the NetFoundry platform. The core solution was provisioned in one day. KEO was also impressed by how NetFoundry’s solution enhanced agility with creative configuration options.

The NetFoundry NaaS Platform is now a core pillar of KEO’s ‘Work from Anywhere’ strategic programme. The KEO and NetFoundry teams are now collaborating to extend Zero Trust connectivity and flexible NaaS capabilities to support additional ‘Cloud-First’ initiatives and Digital Transformation. KEO is now enjoying these benefits:

  • Achieved equivalent network throughput with more than 50% reduction in costs compared to MPLS
  • Deploy networks in minutes vs. weeks or months for complex alternatives
  • Support a globally dispersed workforce and new work from anywhere initiatives  
  • Implement military grade security with Zero Trust connectivity and secure web access
  • Improved operational efficiency by approximately 60% with reduced complexity
  • Reduced risk of security breaches and cyberattacks with true end-to-end Zero Trust
  • Accelerating Digital Transformation to improve service delivery and improve customer satisfaction

Much like how hyperscale clouds implement software-defined infrastructure and services to deliver agility and scalability, NetFoundry implements cloud-based network orchestration to instantly spin up and manage Zero Trust, performant, edge-to-cloud networks over the Internet – with all infrastructure managed by NetFoundry as NaaS.

“NetFoundry presented us with the opportunity to reset the old clichés and to disrupt long-standing operating models, creating a far more agile workforce and work itself,” said Damir Jaksic, Chief Information Officer, KEO International Consultants. “By collaborating with NetFoundry we are changing the game and building a highly agile digital organisation to deliver unmatched innovation to our clients.”

We spoke to Damir Jaksic, Chief Information Officer, KEO International Consultants, to find out more about the implementation.

Damir Jaksic, Chief Information Officer, KEO International Consultants

Can you tell us more about the challenges you were looking to address ahead of implementing this technology?

Challenge: High cost of MPLS/ER private circuit, poor performance connecting users from different branch offices in addition to secure remote workers connectivity.

Objective: Provide an all-in-one transformed network to connect users from anywhere to anywhere, including services at the Kuwait main office and Azure Cloud services, in a secure, agile, simplified, better performing and cost-effective way.

How was the installation? Did you encounter any challenges and if so, how were these resolved?

NetFoundry software was deployed in different device form factors, on instances in Azure, on a VM at all site/branch offices and endpoint clients on users’ devices. Then the team defined the required security access policies to set the services and who connects to these services securely.

What are the key benefits of the solution you have implemented?

  • Achieved equivalent network throughput with more than 50% reduction in costs compared to MPLS
  • Deploy networks in minutes vs. weeks or months for complex alternatives
  • Support a globally dispersed workforce and new work from anywhere initiatives 
  • Implement military grade security with Zero Trust connectivity and secure web access
  • Improved operational efficiency by approximately 60% with reduced complexity
  • Reduced risk of security breaches and cyberattacks with true end-to-end zero trust
  • Accelerating Digital Transformation to improve service delivery and improve customer satisfaction

What advice would you offer other organisations looking to implement similar technology?

The most innovative IT organisations are not asking for yet another better mousetrap from telcos, or a re-branded version of a solution built to solve a different problem. Networking challenges have fundamentally changed and therefore the solution approach needs to change – Digital Transformation requires network transformation. Transforming networking is in fact the third major wave of transformation IT has undertaken over in the past 20 years. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) came first, Network-as-A-Service (NaaS) is the next paradigm to unify networking and security. All organisations should begin to adopt NaaS platforms like Netfoundry

Click below to share this article