BT sparks network transformation for Rexel

A new dynamic networking solution provides electrical products distributor with better visibility and network performance control

BT has successfully completed the implementation of a new software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) for Rexel, a leading distributor of electrical products, connecting more than 50 sites throughout Germany. The agreement for provision and management of the network is the latest development in a relationship that spans more than 15 years.

The new network, based on Meraki SD-WAN technology, will allow Rexel to combine the benefits of different network technologies to achieve the ideal balance between security, resilience, flexibility and cost. Mission-critical and sensitive data will be transferred using dedicated connectivity, based on BT’s multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network. Less critical traffic will be routed over the Internet. Using a self-service portal, the customer’s ICT team will be able to choose which connection to use for each of its business applications, optimising cost and service reliability.

The management portal also provides better visibility of data flows across the network. Managed security services, including hardware and software-based firewalls, are an integral part of the new network design.

The next step is to migrate the local area network (LAN) to Meraki technology as well, providing Rexel with end-to-end visibility and control of the entire network. The Rexel Group operates in 26 countries throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. As part of an ongoing plan to optimise its global network, the Group is planning to roll out SD-WAN technology to further countries.

Wolfgang Tomischek, IT Director at Rexel in Germany, said: “Our customers place their orders via multiple channels — using the online shop, fax and phone — and expect us to deliver within hours. We have chosen BT because secure, reliable connectivity is key for our business, and we need a partner who can deliver the solution on a global scale, as we are part of an international group. The new, hybrid solution will give us more flexibility and control and help us control the cost at the same time.”

Joris van Oers, managing director, Resources, Manufacturing & Logistics and regional MD for Europe at BT, said: “We are proud to support Rexel with our SD-WAN solution, which offers simplicity to customers looking to capitalise on the latest network technology to support their digital transformation. It provides our customers with a better understanding of the demands on their network, and lets them control and prioritise the data traffic. And it offers a plug-and-play approach to installing new sites backed by BT’s expertise in design, set-up, implementation and network management.”

Connect Meraki SD-WAN is part of BT’s wide-reaching Dynamic Network Services programme, designed to give customers more choice, security, resilience, service and agility in the roll-out of future networks based on the latest software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) technologies.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2019, BT Group’s reported revenue was £23,428m with reported profit before taxation of £2,666m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London stock exchange.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com