China Telecom Americas Talks International at the Intelisys International Symposium

Representatives from the China Telecom Americas channel team attended the Intelisys International Symposium on February 22nd at City Winery in New York City.  The event brought together a mix of attendees from international suppliers and sub agents from the Intelisys channel community for a full afternoon of thought leadership and discussion on how to grow international business.

This year’s symposium kicked off with a networking lunch and a brief welcome speech delivered by Justin Marano, Director of Partner Sales at Intelisys. Attendees then dove into educational sessions, exploring topics such as global unified communications, network security, SD-WAN and cloud development, addressing regional factors and actionable steps to anticipate challenges and opportunities.

Jingyu Tian, Regional Sales Manager, Wholesale & Strategic Alliances, discussed the current network situation and future network development in China, where recent developments in 5G and IoT technology have global enterprises discussing multi-cloud and hybrid/SD-WAN infrastructures to support the growing demand for network resources at the edge. To learn more about how China Telecom delivers innovations for an IoT future, read about the NB-IoT based smart water management platform we deployed.

Of course, the symposium wasn’t all work and no play. The symposium closed with an afterparty at the Barrel Room, where attendees enjoyed an evening of cocktails, conversation and invaluable networking opportunities.

Visit our Facebook page to see event photos

China Telecom Implements a Low Voltage System for Minghua’s $45 million Spartanburg plant

Company Overview

Minghua USA, a division of Jiangnan Mold Plastics Technology Corporation, specializes in developing, manufacturing and selling plastic products and hi-tech molds to major automobile companies such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and General Motors.

To support its North American business initiatives, the company recently invested $45 million into a new 260,000-square-foot facility located in Greer, S.C., a strategic location for companies in the automotive industry.

Business Needs and Challenges

With a new facility arises the need to install network cabling, racks, hardware and more. Minghua needed a network that could provide reliable connectivity for its computers and phones to communicate internally, as well as with its eight China sites and the rest of the world.

However, the customer did not have a team of experts on hand to help design and implement a low voltage system. Due to the number of systems and components required, Minghua was in search of an experienced US partner that understood standard compliance and how system design would work in unison with equipment.

Why China Telecom Americas

Minghua selected China Telecom Americas to design and implement its low voltage system because of its previous success with low voltage projects and its strong domestic support and network presence in China.

China Telecom Americas designed and implemented everything from structured cabling, access control, security surveillance, server room UPS and A/C and digital signage to their IT network, IP private branch exchange and Wi-Fi system. In addition, CTA provided low voltage equipment and installation, configuration services and a dedicated on-site project manager to interface with the client.

Calvin Qing, IT Manager, Minghua HQ, says, “It was no small achievement to roll out a low voltage system with so many sub-systems in a short time frame, especially with plant build-out, EDI testing with BMW and order changes, and China Telecom Americas demonstrated great project management and allocated all of its available internal resources to ensure the project was delivered on time. In fact, the system was completed ahead of schedule.

We feel that the project was customized for our needs and delivered with exceptional attention to detail and a high level of responsiveness.”

Media Contact:

Ryan Oklewicz, press@ctamericas.com, (703) 787-0088

China Telecom, Shenzhen Water Group Deliver the World’s First Commercial NB-IoT-based Water Management Platform

In recent years, Shenzhen has seen escalating water problems. The city was listed among the top 10 most water-scarce cities in China in 2015 and could face a water deficit of 694 million cubic meters per year by 2020.

That’s why the city is prioritizing water management to better plan, distribute and manage the use of water resources.

China Telecom and Shenzhen Water Group have teamed up to launch the world’s first NB-IoT-based smart water project, in which the city collects real-time data from 1,200 smart water meters and monitors pipe networks and water quality control to 4,500 people.

The smart water management platform runs on China Telecom E-Cloud 3.0 and aims to demonstrate the benefits of NB-IoT connected smart meters through transmission reliability and signal penetration tests.

Prior to the pilot test, Shenzhen Water Group had been sending utility staff to customer properties and had problems measuring, identifying and resolving water flow issues and leakages in a timely manner, among other issues. Having to physically visit every customer site to diagnose water issues proved labor intensive, inefficient and costly.

This project required broad coverage throughout the city and physical depth of coverage due to the hard-to-reach water meter locations. To implement the project, China Telecom leveraged its 800 MHz NB-IoT network with over 500 NB-IoT-capable base stations throughout Shenzhen.

Using the new IoT water management platform, Shenzhen Water Group can now receive real-time alerts so that issues big and small can be resolved faster. The smart meters check data pressure and compare throughput at different nodes of the network, which allows the company to find leaks and take necessary preventative measures. They also experience additional benefits, including:

  • Higher data accuracy with the ability to receive data from 99.5% of the meters in each reading.
  • Better visibility into water usage habits and patterns of different consumer groups.
  • Wider coverage over existing networks, with up to a 20dB gain – water meters underground and in basements are more likely to be able to connect to the NB-IoT network than other networks.
  • Open data formats can be combined with other data sources to create big data analysis, so water consumption can be compared to weather conditions.

This smart water management project has set the pace for full utilization of NB-IoT in China’s water industry and is only a part of the nation’s initiative to lead the way in narrowband IoT commercialization. In the future, these efforts could greatly help China develop new benchmarks and create applications and business models based on insights gathered from IoT.

View the full Shenzhen Internet of Things case study here.

China Telecom Showcases Smart Waste Management Platform at the 2017 World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China

Last week, the fourth annual World Internet Conference concluded in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China. The three-day expo (December 3-5) has become one of the leading events to catch a glimpse of the latest technologies being developed by China’s leading internet companies and service providers.

At this year’s event, China Telecom shared its 5G network technological advancements and demonstrated its eagerness to contribute to 5G standards and help promote commercialization. To that end, China Telecom has achieved the impressive feat of implementing full NB-IoT coverage in Zhejiang province.

Based on cellular mobile network connection technology, NB-Iot offers reduced costs, lower power consumption and enhanced coverage, in addition to a number of other advantages. Smart meters, smart parking, smart homes, and smart cities have undergone proof-of-concept testing and implementation in many places across China, one of which being the host city of this year’s conference.

Conference-goers were able to preview China Telecom’s latest IoT sensor-equipped smart trash bins that detect and report on garbage levels across the city of Wuzhen.  Attendees who stopped by the China Telecom booth received a demo of the solution with a visualized, real-time report of the sensor-generated data as it was being captured throughout the day.

Here’s how the technology works:

Each smart trash bin placed throughout the town is solar powered. The sun provides energy for a mechanism to engage inside the receptacle and compress the trash once it reaches 90 percent capacity, allowing the can to hold up to 3-5 times the trash load of conventional trash cans. It also reacts to motion sensors, makes emergency calls and has a fire extinguishing feature.

But these smart trash bins aren’t just a way to show off cool IoT technology; they were one of the several efforts to keep Wuzhen clean and curb waste management inefficiency – for instance, reducing fuel costs associated with trash collection trips. Such technology provides important data for environmental and transportation planning, as well as city resource allocation. In a rapidly developing country like China, energy and fuel savings, less waste buildup, smart route optimization, and more importantly, the ability to connect people, things, and data, are all key goals and drivers in becoming environmentally friendly.

This smart waste management solution offers only a glimpse of the IoT future, as there are many other practical applications in the Internet of Things realm. As the Internet continues to weave itself deeper into our lives, it is foreseeable that the “Smart Wuzhen” IoT model and NB-IoT commercialization will allow more and more people in Zhejiang, and throughout China, to enjoy the benefits of smart living.

The Benefits of SD-WAN for a Globalized IT Economy

As enterprise WANs become more costly and complex, a growing number of organizations are turning to next-generation networks to keep their data lanes running at peak performance. Leading this charge is the software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), which decouples the WAN’s control plane from network traffic and makes it programmable.

Organizations of all types can take advantage of SD WANs’ automation capabilities by programming them to intelligently route traffic over a mix of terrestrial and wireless technologies – such as public internet, private MPLS and 4G LTE – based on the application. Key benefits include:

  • Easy configuration: Rather than working directly with routing protocols, the IT team simply needs to tell the SD-WAN application how to handle certain traffic.
  • Lower cost: Because an SD-WAN can dynamically adapt to changing network conditions, low-cost broadband options are more feasible.
  • Flexibility: An SD-WAN can be reconfigured much faster than a traditional WAN, making it highly adaptable to the needs of different businesses.

This simplified, cost-effective approach to WAN is catching on fast. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of enterprises will have deployed SD-WAN technology, up from less than 1% in 2015.

Benefits of a Managed SD-WAN

With a centrally managed SD-WAN architecture, IT teams can build a better WAN from the outset. The ability to augment or replace MPLS connections with broadband internet services can lower WAN costs by up to 90 percent.

It can also dramatically lower operational expenditure by giving IT operators the ability to add new network locations to the WAN within hours rather than weeks. The EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution, for example, employs a “plug and play” deployment model that can automatically add new physical branches and cloud-based IaaS services into the WAN. IT teams can quickly effect configuration updates to all WAN appliances with a single click.

This type of SD-WAN also integrates routing, basic firewalling, 256-bit encryption and WAN optimization. As a result, internet-based WAN connections are both secure and reliable, and the need for expensive, latency-adding backhaul WAN connections is drastically reduced.

China Telecom partnership with Silver Peak

To help address the connectivity, performance and security requirements of its international clients, China Telecom recently announced a formal partnership with Silver Peak, a global leader in broadband and hybrid WAN solutions.

China Telecom chose Silver Peak’s EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution based on its complete, single-device architecture. This will allow China Telecom to serve multinational clients cost-effectively while meeting their unique application service level agreements (SLAs). It provides seamless integration with China Telecom’s NetCare monitoring and management platform, and customers can also opt into Silver Peak’s Unity Boost performance pack, which accelerates latency-sensitive applications and reduces data duplication across the network.

Silver Peak pivoted to SD-WAN as its flagship offering in mid-2015, and now has more than 300 clients for its Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution. Although not typically viewed as a full replacement for WAN routers, Silver Peak can provide that capability.

With a shared vision of SD-WAN replacing traditional WAN in the future, China Telecom and Silver Peak aim to bring secure managed services to enterprises and organizations across North America and APAC.

Contact Information 

For more information please contact:
Ryan Oklewicz
(703) 787-0088
press@ctamericas.com

China Data Center Trends and Future Outlook

According to a report by market research firm Technavio, the data center market in China is expected to post exponential growth over the next five years, with a CAGR on capex revenue of around 13 percent between 2016 and 2020.

Much of this growth has come from widespread adoption of data centers by government agencies during the last decade, says the report. In addition, major government investment in data center advances, targeted at stimulating the country’s digital economy, is boosting the adoption of cloud services, big data and IoT.

So what are the top data center trends in China, and how are they poised to shape the country’s digital future?

Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)

Data center operators are constantly searching for ways to utilize floor space, electricity and equipment more efficiently. They are being helped in this quest by the latest generation of DCIM tools, which can monitor and manage the operations of both the facility’s support functions – such as air conditioning and PDUs – and its IT equipment, such as servers and network switches.

These DCIM tools can also provide colocation customers with transparency into their data center’s operations, for a single, holistic point of view into the status of their IT infrastructure. As part of its IT Infrastructure Management capability, China Telecom offers various key DCIM services, including 24/7/365 proactive monitoring, operation management and system optimization.

The Converged Data Center

Rather than managing their storage, CPU and virtualization in separate silos, an increasing number of data center service providers are graduating towards a more converged IT infrastructure which can utilize off-the-shelf appliances, all managed by a single software stack. The objective? To reduce overall operational complexity, while increasing flexibility, scaling and efficiency. According to recent figures by 451 Research, 40 percent of organizations are already using this type of architecture to some degree – a number that is likely to rise as more enterprises abandon traditional stand-alone servers in favor of cloud apps and colocation services.

Improved Content Delivery Networks

CDN site acceleration can be a key differentiator for ISPs that want to offer more responsive web hosting services in China. By serving static assets from the network edge, CDNs are also now improving user experience and reliability for a wide range of industry verticals and technologies, including ecommerce, finance, media/publishing, SaaS and mobile apps. China Telecom’s CDN network includes more than 60 CDN cache nodes in mainland China alone, accelerating the delivery of websites, downloads and streaming data.

Demand for faster, more stable broadband connections will only increase in China as companies look to extend their presence and provide better quality and cybersecurity. The hyperconverged CDN data center is likely to be a core enabler, offering advanced support for on-demand streaming, live broadcasts and adaptive streaming media over HTTP. Further down the line, it’s possible that individual mobile devices, communicating via P2P-style networks, will function as CDN “micro” nodes to ease data center workloads.

Hyperscale Data Center Partnerships 

The huge resource needs of applications such as big data, IoT, social networks and IaaS are leading to growing demand for hyperscale data center architectures. These allow users to seamlessly add on-demand computing resources from any location. Another key driver is the need for customers to continue to receive quality and secure data center infrastructure, facilities and services as they expand internationally.

In order to meet these demands, it’s expected that more data center providers will enter into strategic partnerships to provide international customers with large-scale, carrier-and-cloud neutral, multi-tenant data center products. A prime example of this is the recent co-operation framework agreement struck between China Telecom, Daily-Tech and Global Switch.

Although the U.S. still accounts for 45 percent of the world’s major cloud and internet data centers, China leads the world in internet consumption, with 710 million people online, according to a recent report by CNNIC (China’s Internet Network Information Center). As demand for cloud computing and other data services continues to grow in China, advances in data center technology can be expected to play a key role in both the int­­­egration of these technologies with modern manufacturing, and China’s gradual transition to a service economy.

Developing a Trusted Security Strategy for China

Organizations in the Americas are increasingly looking to expand into China and tap into its vast growth opportunities. Yet to take advantage of this dynamic, fast-expanding market, they need to manage data securely and efficiently. That’s why firms are looking to China Telecom Americas (CTA) as their trusted partner: a provider that can offer peace of mind with cutting-edge threat protection via a comprehensive set of network security solutions.

We live in a digital world. Data is the lifeblood of any organization, and that’s no different for those looking to grow their business in China. But the sheer volume, variety and sophistication of online threats, network resilience challenges and business risk can present a significant barrier to growth and impair essential services, affecting brand reputation and ramping up the cost of doing business in the region. Average breach costs for global organizations rose to $4 million in 2016. That’s why a trusted partner is so important to secure mission-critical data and networks.

Adding to the problem for organizations operating internationally is that data must be shared extensively, often across both on-premises and cloud systems, and pushed out to multiple fixed and mobile endpoints, creating a large possible attack surface for cybercriminals, nation states and hacktivists to target.

DDoS Threats

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are a constant source of pain for IT security managers, and the threat is growing globally. There was a 4 percent increase in the volume of attacks in Q4 2016 compared to the previous year, with the peak attack size up to 517Gbps and targets on average suffering not one but 30 attacks. DDoS is an ever-present threat. As one vector diminishes, another comes to the fore (as has happened recently with Network Time Protocol, or NTP).

The emergence of IoT-powered botnets such as Mirai has added a new level urgency to DDoS mitigation, with attacks of 300Gbps now not uncommon, according to Akamai. In our always-on digital world, even a few minutes of downtime can cost firms millions. Time, quite literally here, is money.

Record Threat Volumes

DDoS is far from the only security threat facing firms. One security vendor alone blocked over 81 billion unique threats last year, and recorded a spike in new ransomware families of 752 percent. The sheer range of threats, infection vectors and attack techniques is staggering. From relatively simple information-stealing Trojans to complex multi-staged zero-day threats, it requires security teams to constantly be on guard.

Organizations operating in China are exposed to exactly the same threats as anywhere else, and suffer the same financial and reputational fallout when one sneaks through. In fact, China was a top 10 global target for web app attacks in Q4, with SQLi, LFI and XSS the biggest threats.

The CTA Difference

Security teams have to manage all these myriad challenges while balancing the books and meeting sometimes rigorous regulatory and legislative compliance requirements. They must also ensure any security controls don’t interfere with data flows and employee productivity. Fortunately, China Telecom Americas has a number of managed security solutions designed to do all the heavy lifting for customers, providing maximum security while reducing cost and complexity.

Anti DDoS

CTA offers DDoS protection via two techniques: black hole filtering and “clean pipe.” Black holing drops unwanted traffic before it can enter a customer’s network. It does this by dynamically routing it to an empty “black hole” IP address. Clean pipe techniques work best on volumetric attacks and ensures traffic is scrubbed of any DDoS packets before entering the organization’s network by sending it to a CTA cleaning server first.

Threat Monitoring

At the heart of CTA’s threat-monitoring service is security information and event management (SIEM). This 24/7 platform monitors for threats around the clock, consolidating feeds from multiple sources around the customer’s IT environment for the most effective and comprehensive real-time monitoring and reporting possible. Threats are detected early, allowing for swift incident handling and remediation, which is vital to minimize the fallout of an attack. Hotline support and emergency threat advisories are also available around the clock where needed.

Secure Internet Access

Organizations operating in China, as elsewhere, need to enable secure remote and mobile working to drive productivity and business agility while keeping data and systems protected. The answer is CTA’s mobile VPN (virtual private network) offering, based on China Telecom’s MPLS VPN hybrid network, which reaches across the entire mainland of China. It offers a highly secure encrypted connection into your corporate network from wherever you are, supporting key use cases including VoIP, videoconferencing and use of resource-hungry enterprise apps like ERP software.

In fact, corporate data security is guaranteed because the MPLS network connects directly with cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure. We also offer our VPN customers real-time network monitoring, proactive fault handling, network management and a centralized portal for easy management.

The above offerings are all part of the China Telecom Americas managed security platform, which also features web content filtering, AV protection, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), cloud security and more. By outsourcing to a trusted global partner with a proven track record in China, organizations doing business in the region can be sure security is handled by the experts, freeing up their own IT teams to focus on more strategic tasks.

Contact Information 

For more information please contact:
Ryan Oklewicz
(703) 787-0088
press@ctamericas.com

Umbra Uses CTA’s Managed MPLS Solution to Connect its Locations Across Four Continents

Umbra is one of the world’s most innovative housewares product design companies. A global company based in Toronto, Canada, Umbra brings intelligent design to everyday items. The company develops and manufactures modern housewares products ranging from furniture and frames to bath and kitchen products to entirely new categories of everyday items.

The company was established in 1979 when one of the founders couldn’t find a window shade he liked for his apartment. Instead, he created his own — and the company was born. Umbra (which means “shade” in Latin) is still led by the original two founders.

The company reimagines everyday items and creates objects that designers would appreciate, give as gifts or use themselves at home. Today, Umbra sells more than 2,000 home products through 25,000 retailers in 120 countries. Its products include wall décor and picture frames, window rods, jewelry storage, bathroom and closet organization, kitchen gadgets and furniture.

Umbra has numerous locations on four continents: in Asia (Shenzhen, China), North America (Toronto, Canada and Buffalo, New York), Europe (over 30 countries) and South America (São Paolo, Brazil). Umbra’s main manufacturing plant is in Shenzhen, China, with warehouses in Toronto, Buffalo, and Shenzhen.1 The company’s vast IT resources and network are shared across all locations from its hosted data center in Toronto. Umbra also provides IT services to its smaller sister company, TCH, an industrial and case hardware manufacturer headquartered in Toronto. TCH’s North American facilities are located in Toronto, Buffalo and Dallas.

Business Challenge

Several years ago, Umbra invested in a centralized MPLS [Multi-Protocol Label Switching] network for all of its major computing functions across the globe. The hosted data center in Toronto includes the ERP system and all of Umbra’s manufacturing and distribution software.

Having a reliable MPLS connection that is always on and accessible worldwide is very important. Without a connection to the data center in Toronto, the production lines stand still and distribution comes to a halt — which affects customer expectations and satisfaction, as well as revenue.

Customer Problem

Umbra experienced several issues with its previous North America-based MPLS provider, including:

• An unreliable network and packet loss

• Inadequate support

• Little or no visibility as to when a problem would be fixed

• Bureaucratic and slow response times

In addition, Umbra had to manage the routers on the MPLS network themselves. Eventually, the previous provider added managed services for the MPLS, but “it took months to implement at just one site,” said Scott Peter, Umbra’s IT infrastructure manager. “Another issue was that network problems required submitting an online help ticket to report, which typically resulted in long wait times for an email response with a scheduled fix. It dragged on and on, and [the process] was very painful.”

To efficiently conduct IT worldwide business, Umbra required:

• A stable network with a proven MPLS provider that would quickly respond and resolve any problems in a timely manner;

• Reliable MPLS managed services for 24/7 uptime;

• Lower cost of service and support; and

• Global reach.

Why Umbra Chose China Telecom Americas

“The attraction to China Telecom Americas was its strength and footprint in the Asia Pacific region,” Peter said. “We wanted better network performance and reliability from Shenzhen to Toronto.”

“China Telecom Americas was able to solve the latency problem with guaranteed 230 milliseconds latency. Our previous provider offered that, too, but in reality they were always at 300 milliseconds. It was tough to get them to acknowledge there was a problem with the Service Level Agreement. There were even problems with billing. Nothing went smoothly.”

In 2012, Umbra moved its network to China Telecom Americas, ending its affiliation with a large North America based provider.

How China Telecom is Different

Unlike the North America-based service providers, China Telecom is the world’s largest and fastest fixed line and broadband network operator. They deliver superior results by investing more than any other provider in terrestrial and cable infrastructure, including cloud, terrestrial and submarine cables. In addition, China Telecom:

• Owns 70 percent of the fixed line infrastructure in China

• Owns 80 percent share of the Chinese data center market

• Operates 70+ PoPs in key metro areas around the world, including more than 300 PoPs in China

The team supporting Umbra — along with the network operations center (NOC) — is based in Los Angeles, which offers numerous advantages:

• The team in Los Angeles is bilingual and many are native Chinese.

• Because the Pacific Time zone in Los Angeles overlaps with the business day in China, help is just a phone call away. Umbra doesn’t have to send an email and wait 12 hours for a response — and they don’t have to call in the middle of the night.

• China Telecom Americas has a U.S. project manager who works closely with the Umbra team in Canada — in addition to the team of network engineers — for ongoing 24/7 support.

Customer Solution — Managed MPLS Private Data Network and Global Internet Service

China Telecom Americas delivered an end-to-end, managed MPLS solution with QoS [Quality of Service] that was tailored to Umbra’s specific needs and a Service Level Agreement that guaranteed up-time of 99.9 percent.

The solution also included expanded bandwidth and global Internet service — and was implemented successfully in a very short timeframe.

Fast, Smooth Implementation

Peter oversaw the entire implementation. “We had 60 days to implement the China Telecom Americas solution. We were on a tight timeline,” he explained.

“One of the things that impressed me was that China Telecom Americas was extremely customer service-focused. They dropped everything when we needed them. Things got done and, if there was a problem, I could just call our rep and get someone from China Telecom Americas right away. No matter what the problem was, we could easily get someone who could manage the router, get us up and running, cut us over, or do whatever needed to be done.”

“It was almost as if we had one dedicated person. China Telecom Americas was always available and easy to reach, and its engineer based in Los Angeles was very, very good at what he did. Everything went really fast and smoothly.”

Quality of Service and Traffic Shaping

With its complete service approach, China Telecom Americas also provided Umbra with traffic shaping — and “we didn’t even have to ask for it,” Peter noted. “We were able to put Quality of Service on the MPLS, which was very important to us for CITRIX and VoIP optimization. We were able to do that right at the network level. All we had to do was tell China Telecom Americas what traffic we needed to optimize and they would put it in. It was simple to do and it was quickly implemented.”

— Dramatic Improvement in Network Performance and Productivity

Umbra increased its network performance and efficiency, saving time and money. Since switching its network to China Telecom Americas, Umbra now enjoys a wide range of benefits:

Less down time — an optimized, stable and improved MPLS network 

Improved business productivity increased revenue, increased production and cost savings due to network efficiency and reliability

Shorter response time  network problems are quickly addressed and resolved

Better value — “With China Telecom, we also increased our bandwidth, bringing greater value to our business,” Peter said. “The previous provider might have been able to undercut the cost, but we would still have their bureaucracy and high latency.”

Convenience — “Before, we had one provider for MPLS and another provider for Internet. With China Telecom Americas providing both services, we switched over to one bill. Everything became easy now that we only have one provider and one bill to deal with. If we have issues with anything, we only have one person we need to call.” 

Partnership with China Telecom Americas Delivers Lasting Benefits

Consistent, fast and centralized service and reliable connections across continents have been critical to Umbra’s success. Umbra’s partnership with China Telecom Americas enables performance that allows the company to focus on continuous improvement and innovation as they develop next generation products for their customers throughout the world.

To learn how China Telecom Americas can help your business, contact China Telecom Americas sales at sales@ctamericas.com

Case Study: Fast-Growing Global Equipment Manufacturer Chooses China Telecom Americas to Connect All of its Locations Worldwide

Douglas Dynamics, Inc. Overview

Home to the most trusted brands in the industry for 65 years, Douglas Dynamics is North America’s premier manufacturer of vehicle attachments and equipment for snow and ice management, customized truck solutions, turf care and industrial maintenance.

Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Douglas Dynamics has received numerous industry awards and has been named one of the fastest-growing public companies in Wisconsin for the past three years. Partnering with dealers, suppliers and end users, the company has 10 locations around the globe, including over a dozen product engineers and sourcing specialists in Beijing, its only location in China.

Douglas Dynamics, a NYSE public company (PLOW), is also known for its innovative high-quality products that help its customers in North America — and in many parts of Europe and China — increase efficiency, productivity and profitability. Its well-known brands include FISHER, SnowEx, WESTERN (snow and ice management); Henderson (truck equipment); TurfEx (turf care) and SweepEx (industrial maintenance). Douglas Dynamics manufactures its products at three locations in the United States — Maine, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Business Challenge

Douglas Dynamics uses one main server, located at its headquarters in Milwaukee, for all of its data and voice transmissions. It uses a cloud-based telecommunications system. Employees across all of the company’s brands access and transmit data and files 24/7 from any device, through a CITRIX Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) connection.

With international operations and geographically dispersed personnel, Douglas Dynamics needs reliable, fast and secure connections that are always on, providing access to all employees across its many locations throughout the world.

In addition, the Chinese Internet is oversubscribed. China is the largest Internet market in the world with over 670 million users — three times greater than the U.S. This massive number of people using the Internet results in a congested and slow experience, particularly at peak hours throughout the day. High levels of latency and packet loss can be commonplace.

“China is the factory to the world and the world’s largest Internet market. China Telecom Americas knows this market and has made greater investments in Chinese infrastructure than any other provider.”

– Jon Crane, IT Analyst, Douglas Dynamics

Customer Problem

The Douglas Dynamics engineers and sourcing specialists in Beijing need the ability to transmit and receive voice and data packets that are housed on the server in Milwaukee.

But for several years, the company struggled with inconsistent and often unreliable Internet connections in China. With limited connections, Douglas Dynamics employees in China could not use the company’s data systems they needed for their jobs, or communicate with their colleagues at other locations around the world.

Douglas Dynamics’ commitment to delivering industry-leading products to its customers, maintaining close relationships with partners, and continuous innovation and improvement is part of the company’s DNA. Advancing technology is a critical component of its market strategy, and the challenges with connectivity were significant impediments to that principle.

“When we opened our location in Beijing, we used a different MPLS [Multi- Protocol Label Switching] provider. They were expensive, but reliable,” said Jon Crane, IT Analyst at Douglas Dynamics. “After a few years, we decided to try an Internet-based solution for a variety of reasons, and we immediately started having network problems. We then tried a few different international carriers, but none could provide the low latency and security we needed. The network kept going down, and we were very frustrated. We didn’t have an MPLS connection for over three years. And then we found China Telecom Americas.”

Why Douglas Dynamics Chose China Telecom Americas

“What impressed us most about China Telecom Americas was its local expertise in China,” Crane noted. “Unlike the North American-based carriers, China Telecom specializes in networks running in China. They have good local contacts, know the culture and speak the language, making it a smooth transition. We were pleased that the sales and engineering team understood our problem, but didn’t try to push a pre-packaged solution on us.”

How China Telecom is Different

China Telecom has the Best Infrastructure in China

Unlike the North American-based service providers, China Telecom is the world’s largest — and fastest — fixed line and broadband network operator. They deliver superior results by investing more than any other provider in terrestrial and cable infrastructure, including cloud, terrestrial and submarine cables. In addition, China Telecom:

  • Owns 70 percent of the fixed line infrastructure in China
  • Owns 80 percent share of the Chinese data center market
  • Operates 70+ PoPs in key metro areas around the world, including more than 300 PoPs in China

Teams are Both Local and Global — Always Available and No Language Barriers

The team supporting Douglas Dynamics — along with the network operations center (NOC) — is based in Los Angeles, which offers numerous advantages:

  • The team in Los Angeles is bilingual and many are native Chinese.
  • Because the Pacific Time zone in Los Angeles overlaps with the business day in China, help is just a phone call away. Douglas Dynamics doesn’t have to send an email and wait 12 hours for a response — and they don’t have to call in the middle of the night.
  • China Telecom Americas has a U.S. project manager who works closely with the Douglas Dynamics team in the U.S. — in addition to the team of network engineers — for ongoing 24/7 support.

Customer Solution — MPLS Private Data Network and Global Internet Service

China Telecom Americas provided a 2 MB end-to-end MPLS solution with a Service Level Agreement that guaranteed up-time of 99.9 percent. The new system was up and running within six weeks.

Because the MPLS solution is a private network, it circumvents all of the problems related to the Chinese firewall and Internet capacity roadblocks.

Results — Reliable Performance at a Competitive Price Point

China Telecom America’s vast network of Points-of-Presence (PoPs) within the United States and throughout China made it possible to efficiently use a private MPLS data network that can reliably connect Douglas Dynamics’ Beijing location with its headquarters in Milwaukee. China Telecom Americas provides a number of high-value benefits to its customers:

  • Secure, reliable high-speed data transport
  • Guaranteed low latency
  • Minimized levels of packet loss
  • An optimized network that best addresses Chinese infrastructure
  • Faster time to market: implemented within six weeks
  • Very competitive pricing

“It was easy to develop a good relationship with China Telecom Americas. They have a small company feel and they’re very responsive. The entire team is very competent and well-versed on the problem and solution. Having a telecom provider with a network operations center (NOC) in Los Angeles and a backup NOC in China supports our on-going network needs. The time zone overlaps with the business day in Beijing, which is much more efficient than having a team based on the East Coast.” – Jon Crane, IT Analyst, Douglas Dynamics

Partnership with China Telecom Americas Delivers Lasting Benefits

Consistent levels of service and reliable connections across continents have been critical to Douglas Dynamics’ success. Their partnership with China Telecom Americas enables performance that allows the company to focus on continuous improvement and innovation as they develop next generation products for their customers throughout the world.

To learn how China Telecom Americas can help your business, please contact China Telecom Americas sales at sales@ctamericas.com

Case Study: Global Housewares Product Designer and Manufacturer Uses China Telecom Americas’ Managed MPLS Solution to Connect its Locations Across Four Continents

Umbra Overview

Umbra is one of the world’s most innovative housewares product design companies. A global company based in Toronto, Canada, Umbra brings intelligent design to everyday items. The company develops and manufactures modern housewares products ranging from furniture and frames to bath and kitchen products to entirely new categories of everyday items.

The company was established in 1979 when one of the founders couldn’t find a window shade he liked for his apartment. Instead, he created his own — and the company was born. Umbra (which means “shade” in Latin) is still led by the original two founders.

The company reimagines everyday items and creates objects that designers would appreciate, give as gifts or use themselves at home. Today, Umbra sells more than 2,000 home products through 25,000 retailers in 120 countries. Its products include wall décor and picture frames, window rods, jewelry storage, bathroom and closet organization, kitchen gadgets and furniture.

Umbra has numerous locations on four continents: in Asia (Shenzhen, China), North America (Toronto, Canada and Buffalo, New York), Europe (over 30 countries) and South America (São Paolo, Brazil). Umbra’s main manufacturing plant is in Shenzhen, China, with warehouses in Toronto, Buffalo, and Shenzhen.1 The company’s vast IT resources and network are shared across all locations from its hosted data center in Toronto. Umbra also provides IT services to its smaller sister company, TCH, an industrial and case hardware manufacturer headquartered in Toronto. TCH’s North American facilities are located in Toronto, Buffalo and Dallas.

Business Challenge

Several years ago, Umbra invested in a centralized MPLS [Multi-Protocol Label Switching] network for all of its major computing functions across the globe. The hosted data center in Toronto includes the ERP system and all of Umbra’s manufacturing and distribution software.

Having a reliable MPLS connection that is always on and accessible worldwide is very important. Without a connection to the data center in Toronto, the production lines stand still and distribution comes to a halt — which affects customer expectations and satisfaction, as well as revenue.

“China Telecom Americas was extremely customer service-focused. They dropped everything when we needed them.” – Scott Peter, Umbra IT Infrastructure Manager  

Customer Problem

Umbra experienced several issues with its previous North America-based MPLS provider, including:

  • An unreliable network and packet loss
  • Inadequate support
  • Little or no visibility as to when a problem would be fixed
  • Bureaucratic and slow response times

In addition, Umbra had to manage the routers on the MPLS network themselves. Eventually, the previous provider added managed services for the MPLS, but “it took months to implement at just one site,” said Scott Peter, Umbra’s IT infrastructure manager. “Another issue was that network problems required submitting an online help ticket to report, which typically resulted in long wait times for an email response with a scheduled fix. It dragged on and on, and [the process] was very painful.”

To efficiently conduct IT worldwide business, Umbra required:

  • A stable network with a proven MPLS provider that would quickly respond and resolve any problems in a timely manner;
  • Reliable MPLS managed services for 24/7 uptime;
  • Lower cost of service and support; and
  • Global reach.

Why Umbra Chose China Telecom Americas

“The attraction to China Telecom Americas was its strength and footprint in the Asia Pacific region,” Peter said. “We wanted better network performance and reliability from Shenzhen to Toronto.”

“China Telecom Americas was able to solve the latency problem with guaranteed 230 milliseconds latency. Our previous provider offered that, too, but in reality they were always at 300 milliseconds. It was tough to get them to acknowledge there was a problem with the Service Level Agreement. There were even problems with billing. Nothing went smoothly. Since   moving to China Telecom we have experienced a  level of customer service that continually exceeds our expectations.”

In 2012, Umbra moved its network to China Telecom Americas, ending its affiliation with a large North America based provider.

How China Telecom is Different

Unlike the North America-based service providers, China Telecom is the world’s largest — and fastest — fixed line and broadband network operator. They deliver superior results by investing more than any other provider in terrestrial and cable infrastructure, including cloud, terrestrial and submarine cables. In addition, China Telecom:

  • Owns 70 percent of the fixed line infrastructure in China
  • Owns 80 percent share of the Chinese data center market
  • Operates 70+ PoPs in key metro areas around the world, including more than 300 data centers  in China

Teams are Both Local and Global — Always Available and No Language Barriers

The team supporting Umbra — along with the network operations center (NOC) — is based in Los Angeles, which offers numerous advantages:

  • The team in Los Angeles is bilingual and many are native Chinese.
  • Because the Pacific Time zone in Los Angeles overlaps with the business day in China, help is just a phone call away. Umbra doesn’t have to send an email and wait 12 hours for a response — and they don’t have to call in the middle of the night.
  • China Telecom Americas has a U.S. project manager who works closely with the Umbra team in Canada — in addition to the team of network engineers — for ongoing 24/7 support.

Customer Solution — Managed MPLS Private Data Network and Global Internet Service

China Telecom Americas delivered an end-to-end, managed MPLS solution with QoS [Quality of Service] that was tailored to Umbra’s specific needs and a Service Level Agreement that guaranteed up-time of 99.9 percent.

The solution also included expanded bandwidth and global Internet service — and was implemented successfully in a very short timeframe.

Fast, Smooth Implementation

Peter oversaw the entire implementation. “We had 60 days to implement the China Telecom Americas solution. We were on a tight timeline,” he explained.

“One of the things that impressed me was that China Telecom Americas was extremely customer service-focused. They dropped everything when we needed them. Things got done and, if there was a problem, I could just call our rep and get someone from China Telecom Americas right away. No matter what the problem was, we could easily get someone who could manage the router, get us up and running, cut us over, or do whatever needed to be done.”

“It was almost as if we had one dedicated person. China Telecom Americas was always available and easy to reach, and its engineer based in Los Angeles was very, very good at what he did. Everything went really fast and smoothly.”

Quality of Service and Traffic Shaping

With its complete service approach, China Telecom Americas also provided Umbra with traffic shaping — and “we didn’t even have to ask for it,” Peter noted. “We were able to put Quality of Service on the MPLS, which was very important to us for CITRIX and VoIP optimization. We were able to do that right at the network level. All we had to do was tell China Telecom Americas what traffic we needed to optimize and they would put it in. It was simple to do and it was quickly implemented.”

“Our billing, management, visibility and support are handled a lot better. China Telecom Americas makes it easy to do business with them, and we have been pleased to have them as our network partner.”  – Scott Peter, Umbra IT Infrastructure Manager

Results — Dramatic Improvement in Network Performance and Productivity

Umbra increased its network performance and efficiency, saving time and money. Since switching its network to China Telecom Americas, Umbra now enjoys a wide range of benefits:

  • Less down time — an optimized, stable and improved MPLS network
  • Improved business productivity — increased revenue, increased production and cost savings due to network efficiency and reliability
  • Shorter response time — network problems are quickly addressed and resolved
  • Better value — “With China Telecom, we also increased our bandwidth, bringing greater value to our business,” Peter said. “The previous provider might have been able to undercut the cost, but we’d still have their bureaucracy and high latency.”
  • Convenience — “Before, we had one provider for MPLS and another provider for Internet. With China Telecom Americas providing both services, we switched over to one bill. Everything became easy now that we only have one provider — and one bill — to deal with. If we have issues with anything, we only have one person we need to call.”

Partnership with China Telecom Americas Delivers Lasting Benefits

Consistent, fast and centralized service and reliable connections across continents have been critical to Umbra’s success. Its partnership with China Telecom Americas enables performance that allows the company to focus on continuous improvement and innovation as they develop next generation products for their customers

To learn how China Telecom Americas can help your business, please contact China Telecom Americas sales at sales@ctamericas.com