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Colruyt Group Keeps Networking Costs Low with Infoblox

Infoblox Inc. (NYSE:BLOX), the network control company, today announced that Colruyt Group selected Infoblox to support its growth by increasing the operational efficiency of its network. The automation tools and network management capabilities from Infoblox help Colruyt to centralize operations in order to optimize its technology investment and keep prices low for its customers.

Colruyt Group, based in Belgium, manages a worldwide network of grocery stores and supermarkets comprising well-known European brands including DreamBaby, Bio-Planet, and Spar. Its worldwide IT network serves 30,000 employees in more than 800 locations on six continents and is maintained by a single network management team. This 20-person team is responsible for maintaining retail stores, distribution centers, administrative offices, and data centers.

As the organization has grown, its legacy network infrastructure proved inadequate to maintain operational efficiency, and simple tasks required far longer than expected to complete, even with its automated processes based on customer scripts.

“We have always organized our network management ourselves, but over time, this task simply got too extensive, too complex, and too fragmented,” notes Michel Deneyer, team lead of network solutions at Colruyt Group. As a result, operational costs were increasing, negatively impacting customer pricing and hindering its corporate strategy. This is particularly challenging in an industry where net profits are just 1.5 percent, according to the Food Marketing Institute.

In order to centralize and automate network processes, Colruyt Group selected Infoblox DNS appliances and Infoblox NetMRI. The Infoblox solutions met Colruyt’s goals of providing automation capability while maintaining compatibility with its preferred network hardware. Infoblox NetMRI automates network management functions and preemptively alerts network managers of impending issues, which is crucial in managing a network with more than 1,000 servers, 4,000 switches, 1,000 routers, and 6,000 access points to ensure no interruption in services.

Within a few months after deploying the Infoblox solutions, Colruyt has seen significant improvements in its network management abilities, as well as enhanced efficiency. For example, NetMRI provided the network visibility for the management team to identify a number of unused ports. Deactivating the ports resulted in significant cost savings and freed network resources. As a result, the IT team has had the resources to support strategic initiatives such as the launch of a corporate mobile app offering new payment options for customers. In the near future Colruyt plans to implement full Infoblox DNS, DHCP, and IP address management (DDI) to support its DNS management, and the company also now has the tools and capability to support a BYOD program for employees.

“By automating a significant portion of our day-to-day network management processes, our team is better able to align our resources with overall business objectives and pursue our goal of true self-service IT for our stores. We can now focus on delivering the ideal customer experience, which helps the bottom line,” said Joris Beckers, network engineer at Colruyt Group. “Our IT department is called ‘Business Processes and Systems’ for good reason, and now we can live up to that role more fully.”

“When businesses evaluate their allocation of their technology resources, they should consider that automating network functionality and improving visibility within their network allows them to put their most valuable resources—their people—to better use,” said Ashish Gupta, chief marketing officer at Infoblox. “As demonstrated by Colruyt Group, improved network performance and a more effective use of IT manpower can deliver a clear competitive advantage, which is crucial in any industry from food services to financial software.”

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About Infoblox

Infoblox (NYSE:BLOX) delivers critical network services that protect Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure, automate cloud deployments, and increase the reliability of enterprise and service provider networks around the world. As the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI, Infoblox ( reduces the risk and complexity of networking.

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