Foodstuffs North Island (NI), a New Zealand-based co-operative, operating the PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square brands, has partnered with Fortinet to replace its legacy network infrastructure and centralise its network configuration as part of a major infrastructure refresh. The decision was reached following a successful nine-month pilot programme.

Foodstuffs NI was looking to refresh its end-of-life network hardware for its 328 stores taking a security-first approach. This approach was important as they are an essential service, with New Zealand’s North Islanders reliant on them to provide essential food and groceries. Additionally, the retailer wanted a modern, reliable and secure network solution to underpin other digital initiatives.

Campbell Mander, Head of IT operations and security at Foodstuffs NI, said, “Foodstuffs North Island provides shared services to a co-operative of 328 stores across New Zealand’s North Island. It’s important to provide a scaled network solution across different store sizes that’s robust and provides the service stores need, so that they can concentrate on supplying their customers. Foodstuffs North Island wanted to establish a clear vision for its network solutions, looking at what 10 years into the future would look like for the co-operative and wanted to partner with a vendor that would support that vision.”

Security first

Foodstuffs NI assessed the options available in the market, testing and evaluating solutions from a variety of vendors before partnering with Fortinet. Foodstuffs NI selected Fortinet for its high-performance, security-first approach and its reputation for its products being highly integrated, and automated in both security and secure software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN).

Mander said, “Fortinet provides Foodstuffs North Island with a foundational solution that, at a technology layer, lets us build the digital experiences that customers demand. With more connected systems in stores, distribution centres, support centres, and main data centres, Foodstuffs North Island required all of these locations and devices to talk to each other and to be secure. Importantly, Foodstuffs North Island wanted a solution that was cost-effective for the whole of the North Island.”

Jon McGettigan, Regional Director Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, Fortinet, said, “The global pandemic has put pressure on many industries and, in this dynamic environment, an essential service such as food supply must be reliable, resilient and secure, it was therefore strategically important for Foodstuffs North Island to deploy a sustainable, supportable network solution that would futureproof the business and enable a positive digital experience.”

As part of its infrastructure refresh, Foodstuffs NI approached Fortinet to provide security and network support. Foodstuffs NI deployed the Fortinet FortiGate solution, delivering SD-WAN, secure gateway and border gateway protocol (BGP) connectivity within each of the Foodstuffs NI stores. FortiGate provides a central configuration point for the North Island stores, making it a cost-effective solution for Foodstuffs NI.

Mander said, “The security capability offered by Fortinet was a vastly superior offer compared to its closest competitor. Performance was essential. Foodstuffs North Island had key requirements around backups so we could transfer data from stores. It was essential to push this data through nightly within the backup window without impacting operations. The Fortinet solution made this possible while simplifying management of the solution at the same time. Value was also a key consideration, along with capabilities and functionality.”

The teams at Fortinet and Foodstuffs NI collaborated closely to overcome challenges within the Foodstuffs NI environment to roll out the solution seamlessly. The Fortinet solution has delivered a long-term sustainable and supportable solution that meet Foodstuffs North Islands’ needs. With the FortiGate solution, Foodstuffs NI can achieve greater scalability and network security across its stores.

Mander said, “The experience so far with Fortinet has been great. The team has worked closely with Foodstuffs North Island and isn’t seen as just a vendor, they’re a partner. Fortinet care about the solutions they’ve sold you and that they’re going to look after it and come on the journey with you.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.