Warren Evans is an award-winning manufacturer of bedroom furniture that has successfully combined fast business growth with strong ethical practices. The company has been named the Sunday Times Best Green Company four years running, and has transformed itself from the early days - when founder Warren Evans made handcrafted beds in his workshop - to a business with around 250 staff.
Warren Evans has 14 offices and showrooms across London, with plans to open additional retail locations throughout 2016. The challenge for Neil MacGregor - Head of IT for Warren Evans - has been to find technology that is sufficiently resilient, secure and scalable to support this increasingly distributed enterprise.
The tipping point for Neil came three years ago when Warren Evans had been through a period of rapid expansion that significantly increased its retail footprint, and its existing firewall infrastructure proved increasingly unreliable as the company put more and more demands on its network.
Neil’s answer has been WatchGuard firewalls, which have proven so successful that Warren Evans now has two WatchGuard Firebox M440 clusters,12 T30-W appliances, and a fleet of wireless APs (access points) protecting a network of 20 Windows-based servers, 150 desktops and 60 iOS-based devices. “It’s common for a small company that goes through a period of rapid growth to outgrow its infrastructure and we needed a much more stable and scalable solution to move forward,” Neil reflected. "We chose WatchGuard because it was the only product on the market able to deliver all of the features we required across all of our sites, without breaking the bank to do it.”
“One of the key selling points was WatchGuard’s best-of-breed, modular approach to the security services it employs. When combined, they provide a wide range of powerful tools and technologies that would be prohibitively expensive if we were to subscribe to these individually outside of the UTM model.”
Warren Evans’ trust in WatchGuard has grown to the extent that Neil and his IT team renewed all their WatchGuard systems and subscriptions earlier this year. He explained why: “We are very happy with the equipment; it feels like a bullet-proof solution. Previously, my team were spending a lot of time trouble-shooting network and VPN issues. When we moved to WatchGuard the increase in stability has been so notable that it has enabled the team to turn their time and efforts to supporting the business in other areas; we have a lot of faith in it as a product and as a platform.”
Warren Evans has also added WatchGuard Dimension to its product roster. This gives Neil an instant view of everything and everyone on their network, which has proven crucial in protecting the company against a relentless growth in cyber-attacks. “We have been able to make some great advancements on securing many of the services we supply to the business, from remote access methods, to protecting users from advanced persistent threats that manage to evade signature-based systems and many more. It was clear we needed to be taking a more proactive approach with monitoring our perimeter. With Dimension we could see a lot more information about how our network was behaving, which taught us a lot about how to defend it.”
For the future, Warren Evans plans to open more showrooms and introduce more smart mobile devices across its manufacturing and delivery teams. “We’re looking at expanding our wireless infrastructure for use through the manufacturing and distribution workflow,” Neil said, “which will undoubtedly mean a further investment with WatchGuard.”
Neil concludes: “I would definitely recommend WatchGuard to others facing the challenge of securing a multi-site environment, because of its flexibility and how versatile it can be in meeting today’s security requirements with a single product. For best results, combine it with Dimension as that degree of visibility and intelligence about your network is priceless.”