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AnyLinQ Adds Value in the Dutch Market with Data-Driven Solutions

By Sebastiaan Smit, Commercial Director of Solutions, AnyLinQ Group

At AnyLinQ, our mission is quite simple: We are driven by our desire to develop knowledge then successfully apply it for our customers. We are a Netherlands-based company that began as a consultancy firm but then started to take care of our customers’ data, becoming a data management specialist.

We use our knowledge and understanding of data-based solutions to make sure that customers have their data available, and that they can manage and use it properly. In short, we are a passionate and loyal partner, helping enterprises thrive in the ever-developing, data-driven world.

Quality and Simplicity

We are a growing company, with revenue steadily increasing and our total headcount now approaching 300 — mainly technical experts and consultants. To support our growth and serve the Dutch market with end-to-end solutions, we have five strategic partners — of which Huawei is the largest.

We are among Huawei’s longest-standing Value Added Partners (VAP) and Certified Service Partners (CSP) in Europe. Our well-established working relationship is characterized by the high quality equipment Huawei provides and the ease and simplicity of working together. These characteristics are perhaps best exemplified by the Medical Center Leeuwarden project.

Supporting Change at a Leading Netherlands Hospital

The Medical Center Leeuwarden (MCL) is the largest non-university hospital in the Netherlands. In fact, it is one of the nation’s top clinical centers. In 2017, MCL was about to undergo a huge change: replacing its entire Local Area Network (LAN) and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). Our involvement in the project began after another hospital recommended AnyLinQ to MCL, as a network specialist.

Quite simply, after a proposal period that lasted several months, AnyLinQ won the MCL bid. We spoke with Huawei, who were able to offer first-rate equipment with multiple layers of redundancy, simple architecture, open standards, a good performance-to-price ratio, high availability of Wi-Fi channels, and the possibility of using smart sensors. Based on these strengths, we decided Huawei would be the ideal vendor to collaborate with. This meant that MCL ended its long-term relationship with its previous network vendor.

After an installation and implementation period and a degree of trial and error, we completed the project. In most projects that involve replacing an entire network — particularly a hospital’s — there are unforeseen circumstances that you have to evaluate and resolve. In these instances, MCL said that it had never before received the level of the support from a partner that Huawei provided, let alone from a vendor.

For example, we were able to carry out the total network migration without a single disruption to this critical network, which human lives depend on. Another huge benefit of partnering with Huawei is that we managed to achieve a lead time more than 40 percent shorter than that of a previous comparable migration.

If a difficulty arose, Huawei offered outstanding support. For example, MCL suffered compatibility problems between its telematics antennas and the telematics transmitters Philips provided. AnyLinQ specialists, Philips employees, and Huawei R&D engineers had a very proactive attitude to solving the problem, meaning we were able to do so using only additional software. So in the process, we didn’t incur any added hardware costs: To put that into perspective, we know of other hospitals in the Netherlands that have had to buy new hardware costing 100,000 Euros (US$112,000) to solve similar problems.

To this day, MCL remains impressed with Huawei’s commitment to supporting the necessary changes required, to cope with any problems that arise.

Since we successfully replaced its network and gained MCL’s trust, we have been able to expand our portfolio with them. For instance, MCL is now using Huawei’s rack servers, E9000 blade servers, and OceanStor 6800 hyper metro configuration.

Helping Haarlemmermeer Manage its Data

In 2015, we secured another major project: providing the network for the Municipality of Haarlemmermeer — one of the largest municipalities in the Netherlands and home to the country’s main international airport, Schiphol. AnyLinQ and Huawei’s joint bid won, because it offered the best quality for the most reasonable price.

This was a major project for us. We had to replace more than 1,000 Access Points (APs), several hundred switches, and two cores. But we successfully implemented a campus network, and in the years since we have continued to innovate together with the municipality. In 2017, for example, Haarlemmermeer had a choice to make: Migrate to the cloud because its server and storage hardware was outdated, or build a new on-premises network environment. After some deliberation, the municipality decided to follow the latter course but also use the cloud for archiving. This is where we were able to help.

Based on Huawei’s X6800 shared chassis server technology, we implemented a Virtual Storage Area Network (VSAN) environment in a twin data center configuration. For backing-up the most important data, we provided an on premise twin data center solution based on Huawei’s OceanStor 5300, with the help of Hyper Metro Software. We also replaced the data center network with a full 100 GB Huawei DC core.

We have since reached the stage where we are now replacing the network, which we first implemented for the municipality in 2015.

As we all know, in recent years the demands placed on networks have changed greatly, and technology has had to evolve to keep pace. Using Skype for business by default, for example, has significantly altered the performance requirements for Wi-Fi channels.

At the time of writing, we are planning and preparing for the rollout of Huawei’s new Wi-Fi 6 portfolio for the Municipality of Haarlemmermeer. We have also created a redundant campus core across two locations and upgraded access stacks from 1 GB to 10 GB, with both core and access equipment provided by Huawei. Techniques such as Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network (VXLAN) — a network virtualization technology that is designed to address scalability problems related to cloud computing — will be used by default, and the municipality is using Huawei’s eSight software suite to operate and maintain Haarlemmermeer’s increasingly advanced ICT infrastructure.

As data proliferates, and as the requirements of our customers necessarily become greater, we appreciate our partnership with Huawei even more. Above all, we are grateful that together we can support and expand our existing customer base, win new customers, and — most of all — innovate. When data disrupts, we help connect.

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