Alken-Maes, a subsidiary of Heineken N.V., is the second largest brewery company on the Belgian market. It comprises three separate breweries, a maltery and a cidery. The enterprise has a very wide set of tasks, from brewing and bottling to managing their own wholesale, which has to be continuously supported by their IT department. This creates a challenging situation for which the company has called in the assistance of Simac ICT Belgium.
End-to-end IT Service
Since the end of 2016, Simac ICT Belgium has worked together with Alken-Maes to provide them with an end-to-end IT service that incorporates all the various digital solutions they have to offer, from system integration, to cabling and onsite professional services. As the standards for information security are steadily increasing, the client was looking for a mature partner who could play a role in securing their infrastructure.
“At that time, Alken-Maes was in need of an innovative, expansive and clear-cut supplier contract. Simac offered to take over our entire Cisco and Fortinet infrastructure with a transparent view over a wide number of services, management and support,” recounts Matthijs Quak, IT Manager at Alken-Maes. “We chose Simac because they offered us a better alternative than our previous supplier, with more added value, expertise and proactive support. An added plus was that their knowledge of Cisco and Fortinet closely matched the requirements of the Heineken standards.”
One-Stop-Shop for Alken-Maes
The first domain in which Simac has offered its support is with its Integration services. Simac has become the trusted advisor of Alken-Maes regarding networking and security by offering their expertise in Cisco and Fortinet infrastructures. As a Cisco Gold Partner, Simac arranges regular meetings with the customer to advise them on virtualisation, storage, hyperconvergence and general strategy on the short, middle and long-term. The most recent assignment in this respect has been the creation of an overview of all Cisco networking devices, including the support for them.
Secondly, Alken-Maes has asked Simac to assist them with finding and insourcing the right IT competences to assist their IT department. Since then, our Professional Services department has onboarded several onsite IT talents to aid the IT service desk of Alken-Maes for all its divisions on a permanent 365x7x24 basis, and is currently in talks to manage the entire service desk staffing.
Finally, the network connectivity in and between the customer’s sites are skilfully handled by our Cabling and Infrastructure department. The new fibre connections provide Alken-Maes with an air-tight security for their entire infrastructure.
“The collaboration with Alken-Maes on this multifaceted project is a perfect example of the different IT services we have to offer,” explains Christophe Lonnoy, Business Development Manager at Simac. “It also shows how we can combine our know-how to provide customers with a full-range of soft- and hardware solutions.” Simac ICT Belgium is a one-stop-shop, with more than 45 years of experience, offering not only Integration services, but also Cabling and Infrastructure, Professional Services and Business Management Solutions. The first three of which are working in synergy at Alken-Maes.
Perfect All-Round Partner
For Mark Hens, ICT Operations Manager at Alken-Maes, Simac is the perfect all-round partner: “We chose to work with Simac, for their professionalism, open communication and support, a clear strategy and a transparent contract overview and pricing.” The positive dynamic between the two partners is also apparent in their strategic cooperation.
“Simac offers a high measure of flexibility and creativity in coming up with new strategic ideas and their consultants are very approachable when we need their opinion or are looking for a fresh view on our challenges.” The fact that Simac can combine several services is an added benefit for Alken-Maes, as the company prefers building a long-lasting relationship with a single preferred supplier.