Tata Communications in $20 million Global WAN deal with KION Group


Tata Communications, has won a multi-year contract with the KION Group, the second largest global manufacturer of forklift trucks and warehouse technology, to provide global WAN services to the group’s 280 sites and 22,000 employees across 30 countries worldwide.

The USD $20 million deal will see Tata Communications replace the KION Group’s existing stable of multiple WAN providers with a single, global, intelligent network. This network is a critical element in achieving the KION Group’s Strategy 2020 objective of harnessing its global potential even more effectively.

The innovative network will utilise a combination of cutting edge technologies to allow the KION Group to handle data more intelligently and with greater visibility than ever before. For the end user this will mean faster application delivery to any device, anywhere, at any time.

The fact that the WAN will run on Tata Communications’ wholly-owned global dedicated backbone and utilise Tata Communications’ cloud-based security solution means the KION Group will have direct access to internet-based applications, improving both user experience and cost effectiveness. The KION Group’s IT department will benefit from lower management costs, greater control of the end user experience and the ability to respond rapidly and visibly to the changing needs of the business.

The new global network will form an important pillar of the KION Group’s Strategy 2020 plan to create economies of scale across the entire group with its six global and regional brands. The strategy is designed to grow the €4.5 billion KION Group, focusing also on profitability, resilience and capital efficiency. Consequently, the group needs to create an environment where IT is an enabler of productivity and innovation as well as the key connection between the KION Group’s sites spread across 30 countries.

Dr Walter Grűner, Chief Information Officer, KION Group, says, “The number of users, offices and devices within the KION Group meant that we wouldn’t be able to achieve the agility and adaptability that is demanded by our Strategy 2020 with different regional IP networks around the world. A single global provider would enable us to simplify our network management, but the advanced services that Tata Communications provides are going a step further in allowing us to take complete control of the traffic on our network. We can now take a truly user-focussed approach to our services.”

Taking advantage of customised software and networking technologies, the KION Group’s new network will be application aware. This will allow an understanding of the types of data flowing across the WAN, and provide new levels of understanding to the IT department for faster, more responsive applications. Tata Communications’ Application Aware Networking approach enables IT departments to examine not just the performance of applications being used on the network, but how effectively they are being delivered to users on a person-by-person basis. This means that instead of monitoring network-centric issues such as jitter and up-time, CIOs can understand which applications are creating the most strain on the network, increasing the quality of service delivered to end-users.

“The KION Group’s global Wide Area Network will be a truly next generation network model” says Hans Göttlinger, Country Head Germany, Tata Communications. “It has been designed from the ground up to both seamlessly blend the KION Group’s private wider area network with public internet connections, and understand the type of data that users are demanding from it. This means it can react to different data and applications in real-time, ensuring the end user has the best possible experience at the lowest cost and difficulty to the IT department.”

CIOs can guarantee delivery on their internal KPIs by understanding why services are behaving in certain ways and adjusting the network in real-time to solve issues, manage costs and improve end-user experiences. For instance if an application is using large amounts of bandwidth but being used by only a few users, the CIO can choose to prioritise other traffic above it, or re-route data from the application to different paths. This new level of visibility and control is delivered through a single dashboard, allowing the IT department to manage the growing complexity of KION Group’s wide area network from one single point.

The Global WAN is possible thanks to Tata Communications’ wholly-owned subsea cable network, which is the largest and only such network to circle the globe. Over 24% of the world’s internet routes use Tata Communications’ network, bringing increased capacity, resilience and enhanced communications links to both developed and emerging markets.