CRC Industries: “A seamless, European data network”


The Orange private network connects the main European locations of CRC Industries. They are all linked via a private Orange network to its completely redundant data centre in Zele. Orange plays a leading role in this international success story. 


The challenge

All European locations on a single platform

CRC Industries is a supplier of chemical products packaged in spray cans. “CRC Industries is a US company with worldwide operations. In Europe, our main offices are located in six countries: Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the European headquarters in Belgium. They all needed to be connected. We also have some other, smaller entities in Europe,” says Filip Baes, CRC Industries IT Manager.

All our key European IT infrastructure is located in Zele, Belgium. “What we call our “datacenter” is in fact a redundant unit  formed by two data centers, which are connected with fibre optics,” Filip Baes says.

“All our IT systems are located in Zele, from time registration systems to file servers. The goal of centralisation and redundancy is to ensure that all of the systems continue to work so that the five other European locations can access our data and applications at all time without any problems.”


The solution

Orange IP-VPN with mobile backup

CRC Industries uses Orange in all its European facilities in order to meet these ICT requirements. “We work with Orange under a European contract. Our six locations are connected with a private IP-VPN network based on Orange fibre optics. Orange is responsible for all network infrastructure, which is based on MPLS,” Filip Baes says. MPLS stands for Multi-Protocol Label Switching: a protocol that ensures the right priority is assigned to every application. Telephony takes priority over email traffic, for example.

In addition to this IP-VPN setup, CRC Industries also has some of its ICT activities on the cloud, namely Office 365 and the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software Microsoft Dynamics 365. “Thanks to Orange we can use our private connection for these Microsoft applications. We use the traditional public connection as a backup. This setup seemed more secure and has worked perfectly so far,” says Filip Blaes

Orange also provided a 4G-based mobile backup connection for the private network. "This allows us to still perform certain activities, even if our fixed connection goes down. Fortunately, we haven’t had to activate this mobile connection, so far.”


The result

A seamless European network

CRC Industries has six locations that are part of a single network. “This allows our European locations to access our data centres in Zele, as though they are actually there. That is a huge advantage of the Orange private network,” Filip Baes explains. “The operation of the Orange network is incredibly stable. It has to be, because we use so-called terminal servers. All data and applications used by a colleague’s PC in Spain or Germany, for example, are provided by our data centre in Zele.”

Orange really makes the difference in such an international setup, the IT Manager says. “No other telecom company can match Orange’s network presence in those European countries. We allow the Orange network infrastructure in our buildings in order to connect everyone to the same network. Orange can complete this so-called “last mile” for each European office. That is something nobody else can offer in Europe.”

Filip Baes is a satisfied Orange customer. “Our contract with Orange is still ongoing, but I don’t see why we would stop cooperating with Orange when it ends.” Filip Baes sees Mobistar's name change to Orange as an advantage. “Orange is a well-known international brand. It is much easier to justify a partnership with Orange to the parent company in the US because Orange is also very well-known there.”


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