Simac ICT Belgium will be responsible for the renewal, maintenance and proactive monitoring of BluePoint's network and security infrastructure until early 2024. The contract concerns three business centers of technology federation Agoria in Brussels, Antwerp and Liège. The contract involves an amount of over 1 million euros. The fact that Simac offers end-to-end solutions was a decisive factor.
Simac, one of the nearly 2,000 member companies of Agoria, is responsible at BluePoint for both the renewal of the cabling and the renewal of the entire network and security infrastructure. Cisco is used for the core switches in the datacenter, Cisco Meraki for the access points and Fortinet as the firewall.
BluePoint is the brand under which Agoria manages business- and event centers. Agoria's more than 200 employees also use the spaces for virtual and live events, meeting rooms with catering service and coworking spaces.
"Our network and security were in dire need of a refresh," says Christian Dekeyser, Director of Operations at Agoria. "Our old infrastructure was no longer versatile enough for today's needs. Technology is key for visitors to our business- and event centers. They want plug-and-play, cutting-edge technology. Networks and security are key components of this. Naturally, Agoria itself also demands leading-edge technology. Two years ago, Agoria drew up an IT-architecture for the future. One of the points in it is that we are moving completely towards the cloud. For that, of course, you need a powerful network."
For Agoria, there were four key criteria when awarding the contract: in addition to network performance, Agoria also wanted to see a logical whole in what the suppliers offered. "The solution also had to be future-proof," said Christian Dekeyser. "After all, you build a network to last 7 to 10 years. So we wanted a solution that is scalable." And, of course, the price of the whole thing also played a role.
Among several providers, Simac was finally chosen as the new ICT-partner for BluePoint. "We already had a good feeling about Simac during the proposal phase," said Christian Dekeyser. "They asked the right questions, which quickly convinced us of their knowledge of networks and security. This was also evident in the well-drafted quotation. Their competence clearly came to the fore."
The fact that Simac can offer an end-to-end solution from its various divisions was also a bonus for BluePoint. Cabling & Infrastructure took care of the cabling, Business Management Services provides the proactive monitoring, and Integration implemented the network and security infrastructure, and also pulled the cart on this contract. "For us it was very important that one party is responsible for the whole," said Christian Dekeyser. BluePoint was also charmed by Simac's good relationship with brands like Cisco, Meraki and Fortinet. "Simac made a good, logical choice there and consistently stuck to these brands."
The implementation went smoothly and the speed of the network has increased exponentially, although Christian Dekeyser admits that the real test is yet to come: currently there are no events where hundreds of participants want network access at the same time, and also in the offices it is currently still extremely quiet. "The tenants who have already attended are very excited about how the network was set up." During the project, BluePoint was also assisted by an external project manager.
BluePoint is very pleased with the cooperation with Simac. "Simac works in a very professional way and keeps its promises," said Christian Dekeyser. "The delivery happened within the agreed time. That was easy, of course, since Corona made sure there were no events and also few tenants. But regardless, the people from Simac made quite an impression on us."
"Because of the lockdown in the spring of 2020, all of our initial contacts with Agoria have been online," says Thomas Vandeput, account manager at Simac. "We are therefore particularly pleased that despite that lack of close personal contact, we were able to convince Agoria of our expertise.”
"Agoria is a new client for Simac," says Patrick Bontinckx, CEO of Simac ICT Belgium. "That we made it against stiff competition reaffirms the strength of our organization. Our broad portfolio of services provides the end-to-end solutions that more and more companies need. Three departments of Simac have cooperated very closely in the spirit of Teamnology to make this project successful. ”