Pernod Ricard has been producing alcoholic drinks since Henris-Louis Pernod began distilling in Switzerland in 1797. Now, at 18,000 employees and with a global reach, the Absolut, Kahlua and Jameson-brewing firm has had to keep moving with the times.
Having moved aggressively into digital, Pernod Ricard recently realised its grasp was exceeding its reach in terms of its application deployment, with a resulting burden on both users and the IT staff managing the rollouts.
"New applications were becoming difficult to publish, and we were experiencing downtime several times each week because intranet servers had to be rebooted," explained Maxime Granatini, group network and security manager at Pernod Ricard.
"This increasing instability was impacting users, and creating a significant burden on IT staff."
A load-balancing and web acceleration solution that proved simple to deploy and manage "on an on-going basis", as well as with the ability to perform "advanced traffic management" was what Granatini sought.
A consultation with fitting vendors uncovered Brocade's Virtual Traffic Manager product, with Brocade Web Accelerator completing the package.
Pernod Ricard cites the software as being "easy for IT staff to learn" and a simple process of teaching new IT staff "how to leverage the solution moving forward".
A floating IP option means intranet users can now access a secure application "in minutes".
This is in comparison to a previously "time-consuming", "complex" and "frustrating" experience for users with the firm's old solutions. One cited scenario was an internal finance department application that "could require up to ten servers, for users to know specific server names, page names and country identifiers," Pernod Ricard revealed.
"Before Brocade, we didn't have the user experience we wanted with our applications," said Granatini.
"The solution created a single point of entry for users - they just type the URL and they're in. Users don't have to know what's going on behind the scenes, they just have a faster, easier, secure application experience, and with the Brocade Web Accelerator we've reduced the load time of applications from 40 seconds to less than 15-that's an improvement that really contributed to a better user experience."
Reworking commercial web pages for specific geographies to reach minimum SLAs is another top priority for Pernod Ricard, and the Brocade suite has given IT access to a geolocation database with traffic scripting that takes "minutes to implement".
"Today we have a level of agility that we didn't have prior to Brocade," Granatini confirmed.
"Before Brocade, applications were difficult to publish and complex for users. Now, with the Brocade Virtual Traffic Manager, it's like having a Swiss Army knife in front of applications with automated application delivery and centralised management that simplifies service deployment and secures applications."
Henris-Louis Pernod would probably be particularly proud of that analogy.
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