Vodacom Signs MEGA to a single supplier network solution
Solution merges three previous systems resulting in reduced costs
Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery
Audit compliance and best practices
The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) was formed in terms of the MEGA Act (Act No.1 of 2010) in 2010 to provide funding in respect of property development, project management and to promote foreign trade and investment in the region. This involved the merger of the old Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency, Mpumalanga Housing Finance Company and Mpumalanga Agricultural Development Corporation. As with any merger, an immediate need for an integrated network was identified.
"We had to accommodate the different business needs of the now three divisions of MEGA, ensuring the network is adaptable in terms of the amount of offices and sites we have across the region," said Andre Robberts, IT Manager, MEGA IT. "Additionally because MEGA covers a vast area of operations, we have massive logistical and geographical challenges in creating a single network under a single service provider - something we really wanted to achieve."
Vodacom Business Services was able to provide MEGA with all their requirements which include
Monitoring of activity on the network – Non work related activity
Off-site backup of data
IT Disaster Recovery
Backup of Email (5 year legislative mandatory compliance)
Chris Lazarus, Managing Executive at Vodacom Business Services, said ; "The design of the network had to fall within a reasonable cost effective range as the function of MEGA is to support clients and not to spend excessive amounts of money on company infrastructure. We were very cognisant of this and worked with them to ensure they got what they needed."
Robberts says the design process behind the network had to satisfy the following criteria and /or had to comply with the following limitations:
Audit compliance and best practice
Single centralised service provider
Limited staff compliments within MEGA IT
Redundancy (network up time)
Disaster recovery (data integrity)
The major areas the network delivers on are:
IPS - Security configurations. This allows for safe reliable data flow and also includes monitoring of network activity and limitation of non-work related use of the network.
VPN –The entire company now runs on one network. This enables all regional offices and remote locations to access centralised servers in Nelspruit.
CLOUD BACKUP - Offsite backups happen on a daily basis - this is a major step in terms of Disaster Recover Plans and the implementation DRP.
Centralised SLA agreement with all network fault logging being handled centrally
Detailed reporting on network activity
APN - All 3G devices now connect to the MEGA network and can be controlled and monitored the same as what any other network traffic is monitored on the network.
Robberts concluded: "The fact that the network is a first for Mpumalanga is a bonus. We knew that the network was outstanding in terms of its capabilities but the cost versus benefits ratio was a pleasant surprise to us. MEGA now has the technical capability to serve its clients more effectively due to the benefits of the network - without it being a huge financial strain on the Agency. Not only does it allow MEGA to serve its clients better but as an agency that promotes growth in the province, we are happy that we can be on the forefront of technological and IT development as well.
"The network also gives us the ability to adhere to certain Audit compliance issues such as Disaster recovery, offsite backups and monitoring of our network and internet traffic."
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