26 _ I N P R AC T I C E _ AT S G R O U P
redundant The IT approach adopted by ATS Group underpins the company’s priority: business continuity. All its sites depend on the centrally managed IT environment. This is why ATS Group has developed everything redundantly: the datacenters, the connection with Proximus Explore and the security of the entire system. Korstiaan Schipper, IT Manager, explains. ATS GROUP
Network ATS Group currently has 13 sites dotted across the country. Proximus Explore has a key role to play here. “We have fiberglass everywhere,” says IT Manager Korstiaan Schipper. “It provides us with bandwidth and stability.” The sites use the centrally managed IT environment via the network. From ERP and the telephone system to internet access and security: everything runs at the ATS Group head offi ce in Merelbeke. In the subsidiaries, ATS Group no longer needs local connections and gateways. “The management is far easier now, as well. When a company is taken over, we can easily connect it to our network.”
The multidisciplinary technology group specializes in creating production and working environments for turnkey projects in electrical, mechanical and distribution activities.
13 sites with its head office in Merelbeke
650 staff with specialized profiles such as software engineers, foremen, technicians, etc
118 million euro turnover in 2016
Telephony “The telephone system is a particularly business-critical element in our sector,” says Korstiaan. “Our duty services have to be reachable at all times. The same goes for our salespeople. If the customer doesn’t get someone on the line, he places his order with the competition.” That is why ATS Group works on the basis of business trunking. This means that all telephone connections from and to the sites – via Explore – go through the ATS Group head office. “Not only does this ensure stable, good-quality connections everywhere, but we have also cut costs.” What is more, the switch to business trunking was made without any interruption. “First we undertook a pilot project. When that proved to be a success, the other sites followed one by one. We definitely did not want a big bang, precisely because the telephone system is so important for us.” Security “A little while ago there was a ransomware incident,” Korstiaan recounts. “Fortunately the contamination was limited to one
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device and we had a good backup.” However, it did prompt ATS Group to review their network security. The company decided to invest in the Palo Alto technology, which offers both a next-generation firewall and a strong web filter. “That way, with one, single solution, we exclude as much risk as possible,” says Korstiaan.
Datacenter ATS Group is firmly in favor of redundancy. The company runs two datacenters – in two separate buildings – each with its own fiberglass connection and a Palo Alto appliance. “The staff are the fi rst line of defense,” Korstiaan explains. “Anyone who notices anything unusual does their best to report it immediately. But when people fail, you need good systems to catch the security risks.”
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