As a leading global manufacturer of electronic components, KEMET Electronics Corporation has more than 15,000 employees operating at 60 locations across 16 countries. The company strives to meet the highly specialized needs of electronics makers in the telecommunications, medical, aerospace defense and automotive markets. More than 160 patents and state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facilities allow KEMET to deliver an expanding portfolio of advanced electronic solutions, including the industry’s broadest range of capacitors.
With a product line of nearly five million part configurations, meeting customer demands for the highest standards of quality, delivery and service always presents a challenge for KEMET. Achieving customer satisfaction required a digital transformation that enabled robust and resilient digital capabilities across the global enterprise.
In addition, KEMET’s IT team had made being a proactive partner to the business a top priority. This meant staying one step ahead of managers by anticipating their needs, and then providing the technology and tools required for success—rapidly and with good ROI.
These challenges drove the IT team to migrate KEMET’s core business applications first to a hybrid cloud with plans to implement multicloud. “The key to our digital transformation is a cloud-first strategy,” says Chris Hall, VP of global information technology. “Today’s cloud-based business productivity and communications applications not only help our users get their daily work done, but also allow them to efficiently connect and collaborate with customers, suppliers, and partners.”
The key hurdle to a successful cloud-first strategy is minimizing latency to ensure performance of new cloud-based applications. “You also need to maintain this performance during all stages of the journey – from the first cloud deployment on a hybrid-cloud infrastructure to the final goal of multicloud,” continues Hall. “Plus, IT needs visibility and control over applications between users and the different clouds.”
Opening up KEMET’s IT infrastructure to the cloud meant rethinking and redesigning the company’s global security posture to counter today’s growing cyberthreats that range from more malicious malware to stealthier phishing and ransomware attacks. Consequently, global security policies and standards need to be enforced in the cloud just as strongly as they are on-prem, and IT needs the capability to manage and control security policies—from edge to cloud–effectively from a central location. In addition, KEMET wanted a networking solution with deeply managed security features embedded at every network layer.
Initially, the IT team lacked the resources to build its own private cloud. So, as an interim step, they needed to ensure speed and performance for new cloud-based applications on a public cloud. This additionally required maintaining the resilience of the expanded WAN that would enable connectivity to the public cloud.
First KEMET chose Open Systems to deliver the network capabilities necessary to support its cloud-first strategy. From the outset, the IT team was impressed with how Open Systems Secure SD-WAN delivers unprecedented visibility across the network. They also appreciated the way it eliminates the need for experts to continuously monitor network health and security.
Built-in network security
The security operations center (SoC) team liked the managed and automated aspects of the Open Systems secure access service edge (SASE) platform.
KEMET can now fully focus on the cloud-first strategy for their digital transformation. The Open Systems secure networking platform provides KEMET with the required technology and at the same time delivers the expertise, monitoring and automation needed to run a global business.
KEMET can now ensure speed and performance for users and applications globally. If contention occurs on the network, the Open Systems Secure SD-WAN gives KEMET control over quality of service between sites and all of its new cloud-based platforms.
Open Systems enabled KEMET to save significant upfront CAPEX costs as well as operational expenses. “It delivered the cost savings that SD-WAN promises, but many companies aren’t able to realize,” concludes Hall. With Open Systems, the company expects to achieve a 50% cost saving compared with its previous WAN expenditures.