Starting situation

To date, a global pharmaceutical company with over 300 locations has had only five central Internet breakouts. All sites were connected via expensive MPLS lines, which led to high monthly costs and performance challenges, especially when moving to the public cloud. To solve these problems, SD-WAN should be implemented globally and consistently.

qedcon’s approach

qedcon provided several employees for project, rollout and migration management. We accompanied the company in the selection of the necessary cables, the order from the service provider and supported in contractual negotiations. We tracked the delivery of the necessary hardware and cables to the individual locations and prepared them for migration, sometimes even on site – worldwide.

In addition, we managed the external service provider from India, who was responsible for the technical implementation in the company’s network (CISCO switches, routers, network routes, firewall, etc.). We took over the coordination, made necessary change requests in accordance with the company’s ITSM processes and regularly provided status reports and an overview of risks. We also took over the communication with the management, up to the C-level.

Challenges and dependencies

During the implementation, we encountered regulatory challenges, especially in Russia and China, that had to be overcome. At the same time, we had to control a hardware refresh of the CISCO switches at many locations so that SD-WAN could be supported. The responsibility for managing these dependencies was in our hands.

Extensive project planning and implementation

The successful implementation of SD-WAN in such a large and complex environment required extensive project planning and execution. Our experienced project and rollout managers developed a detailed project structure and timeline that took into account all aspects of the implementation.

We worked closely with the local IT teams (and business users) at the various locations to ensure that all requirements were met and that the implementation went smoothly. Our project managers held regular meetings with management to present the progress of the project and to identify and solve possible problems at an early stage.

Successful implementation

Within two years, all sites were successfully migrated to SD-WAN. Most of the sites now use internet circuits and have local internet breakouts via Zscaler. As a result, the company was able to save significant costs while achieving better Internet performance.


Thanks to the expertise and dedicated efforts of qedcon GmbH, the pharmaceutical company was able to successfully complete the implementation of SD-WAN. Migrating all sites within two years enabled the company to save costs, improve performance, and set the stage for moving to the cloud. Our project managers were able to successfully overcome the various challenges and dependencies and ensure a smooth implementation of the project.