Network without borders. Facil connects sites via fiber.
Published on 02/12/2015 in Customer Stories
Facil took its first steps in the automotive world in the year 2000, supplying attachments to the Ford plant in Genk. When the company began supplying Ford sites in Germany and Spain as well, the need for connectivity arose for the first time. “We work with an ERP system that we manage centrally in Belgium,” says VP-ICT Danny Steukers. “Staff at the various sites have access to our systems via the network.” Initially this was done using traditional ISDN lines and later on Facil switched to Explore.
In 2006, a new contract was started in the truck business, taking the number of sites to eight. “The growth in our activities led to an increased need for bandwidth on Explore. Because even than we already had to have capacity of between 10 and 20 Mbit, we decided to switch to the Proximus fiber network, available on Explore.” The advantage of glass fiber is that the network offers virtually unlimited bandwidth. The company can easily arrange for the available capacity to evolve in line with its actual needs. “The situation at the remote sites has changed considerably. We started with a single 64-Kbit line. Thanks to the fiber network, there are no longer any restrictions.” In the past few years, the need for connectivity at Facil has continued to grow significantly. The company has now started up activities in the US, Mexico, China and Thailand. This growth has increased the total number of sites to 16. “Of course, staff at these sites need access to ERP and other office applications, as well,” says Danny Steukers. Via the glass fiber network, they can work with the applications and data that Facil has placed with Proximus. To guarantee good system availability, the company opted for a duplicated set-up at two datacenters.
“We use the fiber network on Explore for communication between the various sites, for both audio and video connections. Because we operate on various continents, it’s not really that easy to keep traveling between the sites any longer. So we make the best possible use of applications for unified collaboration, including video conferencing.” Of course, that requires enough bandwidth, as does the use of cloud applications. “Thanks to the fiber network, we don’t have to worry about that. We can easily gear the bandwidth to suit our needs.” Facil staff use glass fiber to access the Internet, as well. “Our staff are connected to the Proximus datacenter via Explore so as to access the Internet. Here again, the network offers constant, sufficient bandwidth.”
Strong partner supports service provision
The car and truck manufacturing sector is characterized by tight processes and short deadlines. “We present ourselves as an innovative, high-performance fullservice partner,” says Danny Steukers. “We strive to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction. To be able to provide the best possible services, our staff need to be able to count on a reliable IT environment. Stable, secure and scalable connectivity via the Proximus fiber network is essential here.”
- IT systems and data accessible from all sites
- Unlimited network capacity
- New sites connected via plug-andplay
Facil supplies attachments for car and truck manufacturers. From its beginnings in Genk in the year 2000, the company has become an international player with sites in Europe, America and Asia.
Danny Steukers studied IT at the VUB, the Flemish university of Brussels. He worked as an analyst-developer at Velda (beds), Keramo (pipes) and the Belgische Fruitveiling, the Belgian fruit growers’ association. Since 2002, he has been VP-ICT at Facil.Don’t hesitate to visit our optical fiber page for more information