Integrated networking and data center solution gives Lawter a global platform for innovation

Together with Lawter we enabled their employees to pioneering new technologies that will diversify and grow the business. When the company's SAP software and supporting tools and supporting applications were nearing end-of-life, and their cloud platform contract was due for renewal, they saw an opportunity to upgrade their applications, infrastructure, and services to support future growth. Lawter has plans to move to SAP HANA but this was not an immediate goal. In addition, cost containment was critical. We upgraded all applications to the latest versions, then migrated them to an integrated networking and hosted data center solution, with security built in by design. Their branches in seven countries across four continents now connect to the data center, where SAP software and other applications are hosted, over a seamless global network.

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Why today’s inventors need tomorrow’s infrastructure

A declining print market has created significant impetus for innovation at Lawter. With SAP’s HANA 2025 deadline ‘around the corner’ and a huge focus on innovation, the in-house team needed to maintain an IT environment that supports both current activities and future initiatives.

Lawter is a small but global organization with a long, proud history. Their core business is manufacturing ink and related products for a variety of printing applications, including consumer inkjet printers. They also specialize in thermoplastic road-marking products.

The rise of digitalization brought with it a decline in the commercial printing industry as print media moved online. Therefore, Lawter had to shift its attention from developing products for known markets to investigating new markets.

The business now has an innovation team that’s tasked with exploring ways to diversify the business for long-term growth. Employees are seen as inventors, tasked with pioneering new technologies, products and prototypes.

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Which services?

Hybrid Networking, Application Management, Data Center and Hybrid Cloud, Disaster Recovery and Backup, Professional Services

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Which technologies?

SSL VPN, MPLS/internet, NTT Cloud (Virtual and physical)

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Which partners?

SAP, Microsoft, Zscaler, Cisco

‘The NTT platform meets our immediate needs, but, more importantly, is ready for the future. This allows us to focus on our key goal of driving innovation inside the company.’
Christel Baeté , Director, Global Information Systems & Business Process, Lawter, Inc.

How an integrated networking and data center solution meets current and future needs

We proposed upgrading all Lawter’s applications to the latest versions and migrating to a new, robust platform. We now provide managed services for their WAN and data center hosting, with secure connectivity for remote users. A few years before this project, Lawter had undergone a major transition from outsourcing all its IT operations to bringing certain functions, such as first-level support, in-house. Others are managed by external parties with the required expertise. Lawter had a contract with us for a hybrid storage solution that hosted the SAP platform and other enterprise applications.

As the time came to renew the contract, some of the SAP tools would be reaching end of life or end of support in the near future – which would require changes to the platform. The business did have plans to move to SAP HANA, but only in a few years.

Cost containment was critical. We therefore proposed an integrated networking and data center platform, with a separate location for disaster recovery and security built in by design. A wide area network (WAN) would connect all branches to applications (including SAP) hosted in the data center, which would be fully managed by NTT. Most importantly, the solution would be able to cater for future upgrades.

What a platform for growth looks like

A global network and data center solution supports Lawter’s immediate requirements and will support future upgrades. Lawter operates in seven countries across four continents and has nine manufacturing and technology centers in addition to the regional sales, production and support teams. Their global user base comprises around 500 users. It took about a year to complete the migration, as a number of supporting elements – such as code – had to be made compatible with the new platform. The business now has a hybrid cloud environment, with dedicated machines to support SAP software and a more cost-effective cloud environment for other applications.

Our managed services also give Lawter greater control and flexibility when it comes to adding or removing services. There’s a great deal of transparency in the way a solution is built, priced and managed, which supports Lawter strategy of allocating IT costs appropriately between in-house and external providers. Their operations now run on a seamless global network. In addition, the platform has been designed to accommodate the future move to SAP HANA. With robust infrastructure and up-to-date applications in place, they are well positioned to support initiatives that will diversify and grow the business and facilitate the next generation of sustainable solutions.