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Plan early and long term: Meheriar G. Patel, JeenaDATAQUEST

With over a 100 years of experience in supply chain and logistics, and spearheaded by the fourth generation of its founders, Jeena & Co., an authorized customs house agent, has established itself as a market leader, globally renowned for its professional services. Jeena is also the largest Indian freight forwarder in the global market, and consistently ranks in the top three logistics companies in India.

Here, Meheriar Patel, Group Chief Information Officer, Jeena & Co., discusses the challenges around an SD-WAN. Excerpts:

DQ: How do you understand and align strongly with location- or branch-specific needs to ensure support for legacy networks?

Meheriar G. Patel: Legacy network setups were aligned, but need to run efficiently, lower cost and multi-vendor Situation and offering has changed the dynamics on how a unified multimodal setup runs. When a branch network is planned, the dynamic and flexible approach is to look at solutions and offering, which would asset-light and cloud-ready to ascertain and handle dynamic scenarios.

DQ: How do you decide when’s the right time to move your network forward?

Meheriar G. Patel: It would be on the overall on infrastructure strategy. The application landscape dynamics will say what is the right move for shifting and what can work best.

The decision is based on requirements and long-term business strategy and hence, IT requirements. Digital thrust for industries is adding this move as an immediate requirement, as automation and new technologies would need faster, effective and secure systems to run from anywhere, anytime and anyplace.

DQ: When and how do you manage the transformation? How do you create a future secure network platform?

Meheriar G. Patel: There various models in offerings, plan to grow, be agile on what is implemented now can be expanded and shortsighted. Before reaching out for any specific partner solution, we debate and discuss, and also run through a business process formation and requirement analysis.

Then, the approach for specific solution identified and ask for solutions, which is aligned to the internal thinking. Customize the solutions as per requirements and markup required. I see that solutions and offering are aplenty. We weigh the options on cost-effectiveness and business uptime, and of course, security.

DQ: When and how do you start to develop a more flexible, dynamic network?

Meheriar G. Patel: Starting today and don’t end it anywhere, as this is ever-evolving. Today’s roadmap is long-sighted and dynamic. Co-relating networks, open standard technology offerings are future-ready systems.

I also feel the cost of bandwidth is coming down, but at the same time effective uptimes have remained the same as a service. Networks we run have to be more smarter, easy to dynamically run without interventions, scale up and down as required.

DQ: How do you manage the overall network transformation?

Meheriar G. Patel: Plan early and long term. Seek stage approach and keep the 50% window open on implementing a larger solution all in one go. Keep space to implement new technologies. Next, work with efficient partners who provide solutions, not product offerings.

DQ: What are the key challenges on your network to make it virtualised and fully secure?

Meheriar G. Patel: There is the cost of moving to the solutions and an effective working model. Smart virtualisation effectively works on hardware. For networks, various communication network protocol and dependencies, which are not in your control, make it difficult to fully virtualized and secure.

DQ: What new services would you like to have on your network?

Meheriar G. Patel: Managed and 99.9% uptimes with no disruption of services. Secure, and also protected till the endpoint of operations. There must be a cost-effective and efficient team to handle all of this.

DQ: How evolved is your network in terms of virtualization and moving it to cloud?

Meheriar G. Patel: We are not yet there, but are open to challenges and new technology adoptions.

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