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Infrastructure IT Solution
“We wanted a well-priced, reliable and scalable network from a provider that could ensure consistent global delivery. The NTT proposal for an MPLS network and internet access service fitted perfectly. “
Support a sharp rise in internet traffic
The corporate network in place at the time was around six years old – too old to have been designed with access to cloud applications in mind. Every site had a network connection to its nearest NXP regional data centre in Europe, Asia and the Americas; internet breakout was available only at the data centres.
“That worked fine while the majority of our IT services were hosted locally and network traffic was mostly intra-company,” says Maurice Arntz, Senior Director, Infrastructure IT Solutions at NXP. “But as we ramped up our use of cloud applications, the network struggled to support the sharp rise in internet traffic.”
As the contract with NXP’s connectivity provider approached renewal time, Arntz seized the opportunity to refresh the network architecture and optimise it for consumption of cloud services.
A cloud-ready corporate network
The redesigned network architecture provides for immediate breakout to the internet at every site, bypassing the regional data centres. Each site has its own connection to the internet, which is separate from its connection to the corporate network. Larger sites have duplicate connections for added resilience.
As part of the transformation, Arntz went out to tender for a new connectivity provider. “We wanted a well-priced, reliable and scalable network from a provider that could ensure consistent global delivery,” says Arntz. “The NTT proposal for an MPLS network and internet access service fitted perfectly. We were convinced by their ability to help us realise our network transformation, and their readiness to build a good working relationship with us.”
The NTT MPLS network would also give NXP the option to converge voice and data and reduce outgoing call costs by making the transition to IP voice.
Just before contract signature, however, a new requirement arose. NXP acquired Freescale Semiconductors, which doubled the size of NXP, creating a company with $10 billion of annual revenues. “The acquisition added a whole new dimension to our network transformation, as we had to integrate the two companies onto a single network at the same time as rolling out the new architecture to every site.” says Arntz. “NTT accommodated our expanded requirements seamlessly into the contract.”
NXP and NTT agreed a multi-phase project for rolling out the entire network, including the Freescale integration. “Business had to continue as normal throughout,” points out Arntz. “In particular, all our design centres and factories operate 24/7. Halting design and production for a network renewal was out of the question.”
To avoid interruptions, NTT added and tested the new connections at each site before disconnecting the old ones. “A key member of the NTT team was our dedicated project manager, who provided excellent support for what was a complex network transformation,” says Arntz. “Overall project governance was very effective, and NTT maintained engagement with us at all levels. It truly felt like a collaborative journey.”
Arntz also cites NTT’s ability to find creative solutions to unexpected problems, such as when damage to cables at a site in the UK took out both its internet and corporate network connectivity. “NTT quickly installed temporary wireless connections at the site while the subcontractor replaced the cabled connections,” recalls Arntz. “It’s an approach that also proved useful as a backup at other sites when, for example, major roadworks in the area risked disrupting in-ground cables.”
Stability, Security, Scalability
The redesigned architecture and move to NTT have given NXP a more stable and resilient network than before. “And of course, now that every site has its own internet access, we have the bandwidth we need to use cloud applications efficiently,” says Arntz. In addition, NTT implemented SIP trunking, which enables the two largest NXP sites in the Netherlands to make and receive voice calls over the MPLS network
The NTT solution incorporates enhanced monitoring capabilities, which provide increased network visibility. “We have more insight into our network, and can quickly flag any issues,” says Arntz. “At the same time, NTT is very proactive around incident handling and resolution. That means far fewer outages affecting network performance.”
In addition, the new network is much more secure. “The nature of our business makes us a prime target for cybercriminals,” explains Arntz. As a matter of course, NXP rigorously protects its intellectual property, and ensures its development and manufacturing environments are highly secure. “We’ve now ring fenced our company through the security features in the network design and on the network itself,” says Arntz.
He’s also confident that NTT can handle the network-related implications that come with NXP’s dynamic agenda of mergers, acquisitions and divestments. Having incorporated the Freescale acquisition onto the network at the start of the contract, a year later NTT helped NXP’s divestment of its Standard Products business line run to plan, with a network separation project. “NTT smoothly carved out the network supporting Standard Products’ five factories and approximately 10,000 employees,” says Arntz. “They’ve proved they can easily support this type of business activity that’s so common in the technology industry.”
Besides the NTT network solution itself, Arntz appreciates the harmonious working relationship between the two companies. “As well as being capable, the NTT people are a pleasure to work with, which really matters with a big contract like this,” says Arntz. “NTT scores well on our internal supplier ratings. Everyone is happy with them as a key global supplier to NXP.”
Enterprise Cloud is a secure private cloud service that complements our data center, network and server solutions. We provide a versatile and secure IT cloud infrastructure to support core business applications. A wide range of options are available, including flexible resource provisioning.
Business: The global leader in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications, NXP focuses on the automotive sector (including driverless cars), the internet of things, and wireless infrastructures.