SodaStream chose to implement VMware infrastructure solutions and be better prepared for expansion of its markets and sales and for the requirements of working remotely.
By Hen Ron, CISO at SodaStream
Originally published at VMware.com
SodaStream, a manufacturer of home appliances making flavored carbonated drinks, is active in five continents, and its corporate headquarters are in Israel. The company employs more than 5,000 people and provides products to more than 80,000 suppliers in 45 countries worldwide. It owns more than 30 branches connected to its technological network, and it operates at approximately 300 additional sites worldwide.
In 2018, the global PepsiCo company, pursuing a strategy of investing in healthy, sustainable, and ecologically friendly products, acquired SodaStream. Following the acquisition, SodaStream online sales increased by 45 percent and its conventional global sales by 30 percent. In the wake of the acquisition and expansion, the company had to meet new regulatory and work procedures from the PepsiCo corporation.
Following the acquisition, online sales of the company’s products accelerated, requiring SodaStream to make its customer service more flexible and accessible while adhering to a strict information security policy. The IT team, while coping with an expanded scale of staff, sales, inventory, work shifts, and product manufacturing processes, was also required to provide technical support for online sales, telemarketing, and the call center.
Regulations and data security requirements obliged us to consolidate all the infrastructure and operations under a single standard.
As the COVID-19 pandemic prevented many of our employees from coming to the office, we needed a secure and agile infrastructure to support more than 2,000 of our office workers doing their jobs remotely around the world—and often, around the clock. Moreover, during the pandemic, with the public staying at home, our sales rose significantly, and the number of employees increased by a third—mainly in production jobs. As a result, the computing team and the servers at their disposal had to support five times more people and heavy pressure was put on the organization’s systems.
SodaStream has been a loyal VMware customer for over a decade, but it is only recently that we implemented Hyperconverged Infrastructure powered by VMware vSAN to upgrade our infrastructure to the level of flexibility, scalability, and transparency that the ultra-unified solutions from VMware provide. We collaborated before and had a good experience with VMware, becoming familiarized and knowledgeable of its solutions. Some of that experience resulted from our IT teamwork at previous jobs in other organizations, and there’s also the good reputation the company has in Israel. VMware solutions are reliable, and we have real partners to work with within Israel and around the world. This is a relationship based on trust, professional service, and good partnership.
VMware helped us to accelerate innovation and meet both the PepsiCo new requirements and the data and workload requirements generated by the growth of our customer base. Now, with agile, flexible infrastructure powered by vSAN in place, we can focus on developing new products, meeting the demands of our expanding customer base, and approaching new market segments and distribution areas.
Today, we are better prepared than ever for another increase in the company’s sales, expanded market share, and the transition of additional employees to remote work. The VMware solution has helped us future-proof our business by enabling us to scale flexibly, adapt quickly to changing requirements, support new workloads in the core data center and at the edge, and simplify operations with a consistent tool across environments. We’ve also been able to streamline management tasks, cutting maintenance costs to a fraction and subsequently lowering TCO.
In the coming years, we would like to use flexibility in the cloud to free ourselves from dependency on the organization’s in-house infrastructure and from ongoing maintenance of the data center (electricity, cooling, etc.). We’ve set our sights on transitioning to a hybrid approach, with infrastructure and cloud solutions that are compatible with different cloud types. VMware solutions will provide us with the flexibility to integrate with any cloud architecture that we choose or desire in the future.
In addition, because cyberattacks are increasing and the company wants control to be simple, unwanted access to the organization’s information to be blocked, and the organization’s employees to be provided with a secure network, we intend to implement micro-segmentation technology with VMware NSX. This solution will equip the organization for monitoring and restricting access to internal systems, as well as for identifying who and where the user is, and from which application the user logged in.