Fortinet replaces and secures Foodstuffs North Island's legacy network

Fortinet replaces and secures Foodstuffs North Island's legacy network

A new secure network promises better digital engagement with the supermarket chain's customers.

Foodstuffs North Island's Freemans Bay store, in Auckland.

Foodstuffs North Island's Freemans Bay store, in Auckland.

Credit: Supplied

The major cooperative operator of the Pak ’n Save, New World and Four Square supermarket chains has partnered with Fortinet to replace its legacy network infrastructure.

Foodstuffs North Island has centralised its network configuration as part of the infrastructure refresh, which followed a nine-month pilot program.

Looking to refresh its end-of-life network hardware for its 328 stores, Foodstuffs North Island took a "security-first" approach to support its status as an essential service provider.

The operator provides shared services to a co-operative of 328 stores across New Zealand’s North Island. As such it was important to provide a scaled network across different store sizes that was robust and provided the service stores needed.

"Foodstuffs North Island wanted to establish a clear vision for its network solutions, looking at what 10 years into the future would look like for the co-operative and wanted to partner with a vendor that would support that vision," said Campbell Mander, head of IT operations and security.

The coop assessed the options available in the market, testing and evaluating systems from a variety of vendors before partnering with Fortinet. 

Fortinet was selected for its high-performance, integration and automation in both security and secure software-defined wide area network, or SD-WAN.

The new network rollout followed a multi-year project to move the cooperative on to new enterprise software from SAP.

Mander said it was a foundational solution that, at a technology layer, would let Foodstuffs North Island build the digital experiences that customers demanded. 

"With more connected systems in stores, distribution centres, support centres, and main datacentres, Foodstuffs North Island required all of these locations and devices to talk to each other and to be secure," Mander said.

It also had to be cost effective.

The global pandemic had put pressure on many industries and in such a dynamic environment an essential service such as food supply had to be be reliable, resilient and secure, said Jon McGettigan, regional director A/NZ and the Pacific Islands for Fortinet.

"It was therefore strategically important for Foodstuffs North Island to deploy a sustainable, supportable network solution that would futureproof the business and enable a positive digital experience.”

As part of its infrastructure refresh, Foodstuffs North Island approached Fortinet to provide security and network support. 

The coop deployed the Fortinet FortiGate solution, delivering SD-WAN, secure gateway and border gateway protocol (BGP) connectivity within each of the Foodstuffs North Island stores. 

FortiGate provided a central configuration point, making it cost-effective.

Mander said the security capability offered by Fortinet was vastly superior compared to its closest competitor.

"Performance was essential," he said. "Foodstuffs North Island had key requirements around backups so we could transfer data from stores."

It was essential to push this data through nightly within the backup window without impacting operations. 

"The Fortinet solution made this possible while simplifying management of the solution at the same time. Value was also a key consideration, along with capabilities and functionality.”

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