LeasePlan is one of the world’s leading fleet management and driver mobility companies, employing over 6,600 people in 32 countries and with more than 1.7 million vehicles under management. The company has more than 50 years’ experience delivering mobility solutions for its 175,000 worldwide customers.
LeasePlan is always asking ‘What’s next?’ for its business and is focused on leading the trend from ownership to usership in both the new and high-quality used car markets providing customers with ‘any car, anywhere, anytime’.
LeasePlan Information Services is a subsidiary of LeasePlan, based in Dublin, Ireland. It provides a range of services, including application development, operational support, hosting and ICT services to LeasePlan Corporation around the globe. Currently completing a full digital transformation and committed to a net zero emissions fleet by 2030, LeasePlan is an ambitious leader in both driver mobility and technology innovation.
Tasked with serving the needs of over 110 branch offices around the world, the challenge facing LeasePlan Information Services was to match LeasePlan’s physical growth with a stable and high-performing network solution, connecting all locations.
Lloyd Spendlove, IT Services Manager at LeasePlan Information Services explains: “LeasePlan operates on a centralised IT infrastructure. While our data centres are located in Dublin, it is crucial that our employees have a good user experience, regardless of where in the world they are based. Whether they’re located in Moscow, Melbourne or Istanbul, it’s essential that they have the same experience as if they were based close to the data centres in Dublin. However, as the solutions and services LeasePlan offers our customers continue to evolve, increased strain is placed on the network.”
Previously, connections to LeasePlan’s widely dispersed locations were predominantly made through Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). LeasePlan began questioning the suitability and efficiency of MPLS as users’ demands evolved. Rich content, the rise of video, communication through Skype and other trends led to increasing bandwidth requirements. As well as this, an increasing migration to cloud services, such as Salesforce and SAP, and a demand for local internet breakouts to access these services, caused LeasePlan to further consider an alternative to MPLS.
At this point, LeasePlan Information Services approached Zinopy, its long-standing strategic partner, to explore a possible alternative to MPLS. As Ireland’s largest and most experienced Citrix Platinum Solution Advisor and Specialist, Zinopy were able to recommend Citrix’s Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution. After a proof of concept, LeasePlan recognised Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN as the perfect answer to their business challenge.
It quickly became apparent that SD-WAN could improve availability, reliability and performance for users while also significantly reducing costs. Instead of an MPLS network using an active primary link and a largely unused and expensive backup secondary link, SD-WAN creates a single aggregated virtual circuit across all available connections links. This combines the bandwidth of these circuits to provide additional highly available bandwidth. LeasePlan also replaced MPLS with commodity broadband to deliver significant cost savings while enhancing availability, performance and security to users.
“LeasePlan and Zinopy have developed a strong and successful relationship over more than ten years. LeasePlan has a long history with Citrix and we were fully confident in Zinopy’s ability to deliver the Citrix SD-WAN solution, which, though it remains a relatively new technology, is already proving to be a stunningly successful infrastructure upgrade for us,” commented Lloyd Spendlove.
LeasePlan has seen three main areas of benefit across its business from Zinopy’s implementation of Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN solution.
An extremely valuable benefit to LeasePlan has been improved availability. SD-WAN ensures minimum business disruption through the use of multiple circuits. With MPLS, an event which impacts the primary link will cause a temporary disruption and if sufficient diversity to branch is unavailable, both links can be impacted causing a full outage to a branch. In contrast, SD-WAN makes use of all available bandwidth on multiple links, from the public internet to 4G, so should any link fail, the remaining paths ensure zero loss of service.
Using multiple pathways also provides LeasePlan with inherent security benefits. A secure encrypted tunnel is created across each circuit. Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN provides an additional layer of security through an in-built firewall and combined with a Secure Web Gateway solution, such as zScaler, provides secure local breakout to the Internet and cloud services.
Perhaps the most apparent benefit of the solution to LeasePlan has been the hugely impressive cost-savings. In comparison with traditional WAN, SD-WAN can create significant cost savings.
Lloyd Spendlove said: “Our team here at LeasePlan Information Services are responsible for ensuring that every one of our users has reliable access to the applications they require to work effectively. From financial applications to Salesforce, we supply hundreds of applications to our users who simply want to know that their required applications work, and work well. The availability and security benefits of Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN ensures full WAN availability and improved performance of critical applications for users.
“We are extremely keen to roll the technology out across our offices globally following the significant cost savings we have seen to date,” continued Lloyd. “We are already implementing the solution in those locations in which it makes business sense, where we expect to see a return on investment within 12-18 months.”
The move to SD-WAN is also a key part of LeasePlan’s long term strategy with Zinopy. While Gartner has predicted that by 2020, SD-WAN sales will be worth about $1.25 billion, as of yet it is an emerging technology still gaining traction and LeasePlan have been bold early adopters.
Aidan McEvoy, Sales Director at Zinopy Limited, said: “It makes a huge difference working as a strategic partner with a company as progressive as LeasePlan. We have a strong relationship based on trust and this has underlined LeasePlan’s aggressive move to cloud. Our ambition is for LeasePlan to fully embrace Citrix Cloud services and future-proof themselves at an early stage. SD-WAN is a hugely positive enabler in this sense and takes into account both LeasePlan’s legacy needs and future ambitions.”
Lloyd Spendlove concluded: “Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN fits perfectly with our other Citrix products. However, this is a solution that will work in any environment. Following our positive experience with Zinopy, Citrix and the technology itself, we would recommend that any organisation with a branch network or multiple locations should look to this solution to improve availability, performance and cost effectiveness.”
Download the Case Study PDF: Zinopy LeasePlan Case Study 2018
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