When it comes to a brand, Tamimi Markets has few equals. Time-honored, trustworthy and modern, Tamimi Markets has served Saudi Arabian locals and expats alike as a supermarket with an impressive selection and convenient services since 1979. It took grand vision to launch a Western-style grocery store in Saudi Arabia, and under the successful Tamimi Group conglomerate, Tamimi Markets has grown to 45 attractive stores in Saudi Arabia. Today, Tamimi Markets is taking another step forward to serve customers, underpinning its transformation with a SASE architecture that includes Cisco SD-WAN and Cisco Umbrella.
“There are lots of benefits with Cisco SD-WAN—my network team is so happy with it. Now, they focus on critical tasks rather than being burdened with maintenance and updates. And the performance improvements have dropped service ticket queues to nearly zero.”
—Joel Marquez, IT Director, Tamimi Markets
Struggling with Service, Management and Security
As a consistent Top 100 Saudi brand, Tamimi Markets has always put customer experience first. That commitment was tested when many of their business-critical applications moved from an on-premises model to a cloud architecture. Network traffic from the supermarkets, warehouses, branch offices, and remote users struggled to keep up. With their legacy design, backhauling traffic over MPLS circuits from three separate ISPs in a hub-and-spoke model restricted performance. Tamimi Markets was required to accept significant rate hikes from their ISPs whenever the network needed more bandwidth or better speeds. As a result, operational costs and service issues skyrocketed.
“Tamimi was 100% dependent on these three ISPs for end-to-end connectivity, and they rarely spoke with one another.” Marquez noted in a recent post. “If one of them slowed down due to network congestion or went offline due to a system failure, we were at their mercy. Stores and offices that used their infrastructure were cut off from our head office and the rest of our network.”
In addition, Tamimi Markets struggled with WAN management and securing connectivity. Their IPSEC over MPLS (IPVPN) tunnels slowed connectivity and reduced visibility throughout the network fabric, increasing risk. A lack of control compounded the issue. Network upgrades and adjustments were costly, manual processes. Any necessary work was bound to create cascading, company-wide outages. Tamimi Markets recognized the need to re-architect their IT infrastructure and improve service. Without it, they recognized that their customer experience would suffer.
The Cisco SASE Solution
Building a SASE architecture with Cisco solutions allowed Tamimi Markets to efficiently utilize their cloud applications and secure their distributed IT environment.
The foremost benefit is the branch independence gained through Direct Internet Access (DIA). With Cisco SD-WAN, Tamimi Markets is free to choose whatever public or private infrastructure is most convenient, whether it’s MPLS, broadband, or cellular – which will also include 5G. As a result, their stores, warehouses, and offices no longer backhaul network traffic through headquarters to access the cloud. This one change has quadrupled bandwidth speeds.
In addition, the link options offered in Cisco SD-WAN allowed Tamimi Markets to add or change service providers with ease. With dynamic traffic steering over a variety of link options, Tamimi Markets is free to shop around for low-cost connectivity options without adding physical equipment to the network.
Tamimi Markets also deployed Cisco Umbrella to secure internet access for their network, branches, and roaming users. Using the Cisco SD-WAN integration with Cisco Umbrella provided Tamimi Markets with an effective cloud security posture throughout their SD-WAN fabric, complete with templates and policies automated through vManage. Now, Tamimi Markets IT can see which devices employees are using to connect to their network over SD-WAN, restrict those users to the most secure protocols, and even limit the applications employees can use while connected to the network.
“We’ve never had application visibility like this before.” Marquez said. “This added security protects our staff from the ever-present threats on the internet.”
Find out more about building SASE architectures with Cisco SD-WAN and Umbrella!
|Industry: Supermarket Chain
|Poor cloud connectivity performance through a legacy hub-and-spoke architecture
|True branch independence through Direct Internet Access (DIA) resulting in 4X bandwidth
|Inability to secure distributed traffic across DIA-enabled branches and remote workers
|Secure SD-WAN and direct internet access with ease
Protect all employees and devices, anywhere they connect to the internet
|Significant ISP price hikes when additional bandwidth was needed
|Cisco DNA Advantage
|Greater link selection and cost control through dynamic traffic steering and internet service provider options
|Sluggish business processes due to inflexible communications infrastructure
|Cisco vEdge 100
|Flexibility and cost savings attained through Cisco’s trustworthy SD-WAN infrastructure