Online commerce has been picking up speed for years. But COVID-19 has thrown it into overdrive. On any given day, consumers across Australasia flock to Grays to purchase everything from electronics, jewelry and wine to cars, property and even businesses. When the pandemic hit, the largest eCommerce business in Australasia, saw its traffic double. And the company was more than ready to handle it thanks to a successful move to modernize its network and shift to the cloud that it had executed months earlier with the help of Citrix Systems.
Today, Grays operates warehouses and offices across 17 locations. But the company is rapidly expanding to accommodate the uptake it has seen in its business as consumers increasingly turn to clicks rather than bricks to secure just about everything they want and need.
“To deliver the simple, secure and reliable experience that buyers and sellers expect, we must be able to bring new sites onboard fast and ensure they stay connected at all times,” said Ayaz Ahmed, Head of Technology, Grays.com.
For years, Grays relied on Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology to do this. But the technology made it difficult for the IT department to move quickly – spinning up a new site could take up to six months. So, the company went in search of more agile technology that would allow it to pick up the pace.
Enter Citrix SD-WAN. Positioned first for Application Performance Optimization and Deployment Flexibility in the 2020 Gartner Critical Capabilities for WAN Edge Infrastructure (Gartner Critical Capabilities for WAN Edge Infrastructure, Jonathan Forest, Andrew Lerner, Naresh Singh, September 30, 2020), the solution enables organizations to extend connectivity to remote sites faster and easier than ever. Using it in conjunction with AWS Transit Gateway, Grays is able to ensure seamless connectivity across all its branches.
And critical in Ahmed’s mind is the flexibility and resiliency that it provides. “We have the ability to scale up and down, which helps us move much more quickly – we can now spin up a site in a day,” he said.
Accelerating Business Performance
In addition, Grays can support new services that its customers require in the COVID-19 era. In the face of lock downs and social distancing protocols, many buyers, for instance, have been unable to make in-person inspections of auction items on which they had bids. With Citrix SD-WAN, Grays is able to power video linkups on mobile devices like iPads which its employees can use to show customers their merchandise including cars, auto parts, restaurant equipment, and more.
“Without Citrix SD-WAN, I’d probably be under a lot more pressure to resolve customer buying issues,” Ahmed said. “It has definitely set us up for success.”
Grays joins more than 400,000 organizations around the world who are using Citrix solutions to future-proof their infrastructure and gain the flexibility and agility they need to enhance their business performance and gain market advantage.