Centralized Management Helps Dealership to Securely Connect Offices with Ease
Founded in 1937, Rybrook Holdings remains a family-owned business with a reputation for excellence. One of the UK’s largest luxury car dealerships, Rybrook sells and services Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, and more. It also operates Princess Motor Yacht Sales, the franchise for one of the world’s largest luxury yacht businesses, Princess Motor Yachts.
Rybrook is a distributed enterprise, with 24 showrooms across the UK and Spain that operate as independent dealerships with a single, shared IT function. For Group IT Manager Neil Prince, integrating these diverse retail outlets with diverse needs – and anywhere from four to over one hundred users each – was no small feat.
Neil opted to build a central MPLS network connecting all the Rybrook locations and one Princess site, safeguarded by a WatchGuard M670 firewall, as well as a high availability appliance. The remaining Princess sites all link to this corporate system via their own VPN networks, protected by WatchGuard T35 devices. Neil explained: “Each site is a different franchise, and each has its own challenges. We deal with 10 different car manufacturers, in addition to Rybrook and Princess. Juggling 12 different IT policies is a challenge, so having a central system and central firewall gives me a lot more control than I ever had before.”
Before choosing WatchGuard, Neil evaluated other vendors including Cisco, Check Point, and Fortinet, but concluded: “WatchGuard just leapt out at us. Their product is easy to control, easy to set up – it’s just drag and drop to create VPNs – and we have a relationship with the team from WatchGuard. The WatchGuard solution gives us the central control that we were looking for. It doesn’t require day-to-day management – in many respects it’s set it and forget it.“ The M670 firewall offers a full suite of network management and security software, fronted by an easy-to-use Dimension management interface that provides Neil with daily reports. “I don’t need extensive technical knowledge to see and understand the traffic – the ease of getting information out of Dimension is excellent.”
The WatchGuard appliances enable Rybrook’s IT team to block unwanted apps and malware – or even entire categories of websites – with just a few simple clicks. “We train our end users, advising them about not clicking phishing emails. But if someone ignores that kind of training, WatchGuard will protect us – blocking dubious sites and sending the user a message to contact the IT department. At the same time, it’s easy with WatchGuard to make exceptions and allow individuals access to specific sites. We had a scenario where a user wanted to visit a local brewery’s website before selling them a car. We could quickly give them access to the site but still block the brewery’s online shop. WatchGuard gives us the flexibility to do that.”
”WatchGuard’s monitoring enables Neil to quickly see when the company’s network capacity might be threatened – like the time the Lamborghini showroom set up a huge video wall and wanted to transmit 9 gigabytes of video data, burning up the entire 20 megabytes bandwidth. “We just went onto the firewall and funnelled that particular connection back to 2 megabytes, so it downloaded the information overnight without affecting the business. Having the flexibility to control those particular devices was a massive, massive benefit. The firewall enabled us to adjust accordingly so that it didn’t cripple the business.”
WatchGuard’s security also protects Rybrook’s clientele, who naturally expect exceptional support. Rybrook has a reputation for outstanding customer satisfaction, with its showrooms being named BMW UK’s “After Sales Facility of the Year” for four years running, and winning BMW UK’s “Dealer of the Year” award. The company offers guest Wi-Fi at all its locations, which means Neil is responsible for their data protection, too. Deploying a fleet of AP320 access points –managed by the WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud – he can monitor Wi-Fi connectivity across the business and also gather much more information on customers. “Previously we had non-central control access points,” Neil said. “Now with WatchGuard, I can see the access points across the business, which ones are up, which ones are down, how many clients are connected, what sort of throughput we’ve got, how many iPADs, iPhones, what sort of traffic is going through the whole of my network and what the customers are doing via the guest Wi-Fi. It just gives me a very granular level of detail.” Neil concluded: “Every penny the company makes one way or another goes through my system – when they order a car, when they service a car, when they order a part – so my infrastructure has to be up 24x7. WatchGuard gives me high-level information at my fingertips that allows me to ask those important questions for business efficiency and also the security of the business. It protects each desktop and our network infrastructure and is very simple to use at the management level. I know I can focus on my day-to-day work without worrying about our network security, and that the WatchGuard solutions will do the job for me.”