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Sigel - An innovative WLAN as the basis for a social collaboration platform.

Inspired, motivated working. Top service provisioning. The courage to innovate and a feeling for trends. That’s what SIGEL has stood for since 1947. SIGEL products facilitate inspired and creative working in modern office environments. The SME’s over 300 employees needed to be able to work in a future-oriented way at the headquarters in Mertingen. New WLAN has provided them with the infrastructural requirements they need for a new work culture. Employees from every generation as well as visitors to the company can now work wherever they want to on their own devices.

Project details.

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  • Networking Solutions
  • Manufacturing
  • Microsoft, HPE
  • 250–1,500 employees

Challenge.

Work in the future will be more flexible, more team-oriented, and more experimental. SIGEL knows this. New, agile working methods and a tailored work environment are the result. SIGEL develops solutions to help people work more easily, enjoyably, and successfully in the working worlds of tomorrow. SIGEL also drives company-internal digitalisation and introduces modern IT services and technologies into their company. It was important to SIGEL to create the infrastructural requirements needed by Generations X and Z (millennials) to enable future-oriented working. The basis for this would be provided by a high-performing, secure, and easy to manage WLAN infrastructure. It complements the existing WLAN, already implemented in logistics for their scanners, with internal and guest WLAN. This enables SIGEL to centralise their IT to their main office by connecting up their branches and creating a highly-available, high-performing, scalable, and flexible WLAN that orients both production processes and ERP application operations to the future.

Our new strategic company direction can now be seen in more than just our new brand presence and new product topics. SIGEL itself is part of and an ambassador for this new work culture. Thanks to Bechtle, we now have a high-performing, secure, and easy-to-manage WLAN infrastructure as the foundation for our new direction.

Hans Wiedemann, Division Manager IT Systems, SIGEL GmbH

SOLUTION.

Once Bechtle’s specialists had evaluated the situation, it became clear that the existing WLAN components at SIGEL’s headquarters did not support Power over Ethernet (PoE). The company required this, however, in order to build the new WLAN infrastructure. Bechtle and SIGEL decided to employ new switches with PoE+. Their decision was for switches from the HPE Aruba 2540 range and the corresponding Aruba Access Points. These switches are specifically designed for the digital workplace such as the one planned for SIGEL and optimised for mobile users. The corresponding enhanced security and network management tools such as Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager and Aruba AirWave enable the new hardware to be easily provisioned and managed. Bechtle installed the Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager as a virtual machine inside the VMware environment and integrated it into the Active Directory, enabling SIGEL to implement all of the regulations they needed at a network level. Users and devices can be securely authenticated and authorised, with role-based device management. Aruba AirWave is the central monitoring platform for the WLAN infrastructure. Bechtle uses the Intelligent Management Centre (IMC) from HPE as the LAN management system. While SIGEL employees authenticate themselves via 802.1X in the WLAN, visitors access the network via a web portal. They receive a time-limited ticket and have to authenticate themselves for internet access to the web portal. Bechtle also uses Aruba ClearPass for the visitor management system. Tickets are created in a self-service portal. SIGEL’s employees log in with their own access data that ClearPass receives directly from the Oracle database.

BUSINESS BENEFITS.

With the modernisation of their WLAN infrastructure, SIGEL now has an open, scalable, flexible, and secure IT landscape. Internal WLAN, visitor and private devices as well as further management access points are separated from each other thanks to HPE network management tools and centrally managed. With easy management of visitors and employee mobile devices, the company has secured a cutting edge over the competition because employees can continue to use normally, but on their own devices and wherever they are. The opportunities afforded by modern communication and allowing employees to use their own devices where and when they want to has given SIGEL added benefits for its current and future workers. This enables SIGEL to actively combat lack of skilled workforce and encourages employees to develop more digital skills. At the same time, SIGEL is fulfilling all compliance, governance, & security requirements with its WLAN, which is far easier than before to perform maintenance on, manage, and expand. This saves a not inconsiderable amount of time on the part of employees, as well as their resources and costs.