Caterpillar Distributor uses Marlink’s NaaS solution, providing cloud access through a hybrid network

Monday 30, January 2023

Cloud access through a hybrid network with better end-to-end control and focus on application performance


A major Caterpillar distributor for West Africa has selected Marlink to deliver a reliable Network-as-a-Service to access cloud services, improve security capabilities, and enhance control over their corporate network.

With a managed network solution, the Caterpillar distributor upgraded their communication network with new satellite services, extensive end-to-end network management and application-based service levels to ensure reliable connections between their head office in France and its 15 reseller offices across West Africa.

The Challenge

Marlink Cloud

As part of its digital transformation process, the Caterpillar distributor wanted a faster and more reliable telecom network to access the cloud and improve communication with its 15 resellers operating across West Africa, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal.

The resellers primarily used satellite links to connect with the French head office and recently added local broadband services for Internet browsing.

The network suffered from availability issues and there was a need for additional bandwidth. The remote satellite services were outdated and did not provide the required bandwidth flexibility and efficiency. Likewise, there were security gaps due to inefficient antivirus and firewall solutions on the local Internet connections. The IT department at the French HQ had no control over the connections deployed at the local reseller offices, which also had limited IT resources.

The Solution


To transition to the cloud, improve network performance and enhance data protection, Marlink provided a tailored Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solution, acting as a single network services operator to manage their entire corporate network (WAN) and the local internet access over the LAN.

The existing satellite connectivity services and network technologies got upgraded and seamlessly integrated into a cloud-based solution.

WAN Optimisation

Marlink migrated the satellite traffic to Marlink’s backbone. In addition, the Quality of Service (QoS) was standardised, and all connectivity links were optimised across the entire VSAT fleet and the local Internet access over fibre and 3G/4G.

SD-WAN Orchestration

One of the key components of Marlink‘s Network as a Service is the Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking (SD-WAN) orchestration, centrally managed to optimise the interaction of multiple carriers across the corporate network.

SD-WAN enables smart application-based routing across the network without compromising quality, speed, or security. Key applications were assigned to the different transport layers, including VSAT and local internet broadband connections (ISPs). Based on traffic priorities set by the application, the network load is balanced, and path routing is defined to ensure optimised performance. As a result, latency-critical services such as ERP, cloud, voice applications and collaboration online tools such as Teams and Zoom are prioritised and will not be interrupted.

 Centralised Network Management

Marlink deploys centralised software-defined network management technologies to ensure more efficient bandwidth use and increase network availability. In addition, traffic priorities, configurations, and network policies can easily be applied remotely across all sites.

As a result, the network infrastructure is optimised, ultimately bringing network resilience, improved application performance and user experience.

 Network security

Marlink applied global network security across the WAN and LANs at the remote sites. At the same time, critical data was protected, and unwanted traffic was eliminated through intrusion prevention systems, firewalling, antivirus, DNS filtering, SSL inspection and web filtering.

Cloud & Data Centre Access

Marlink enabled cloud access to Microsoft Azure and Office365 by providing private high-speed peering from the Marlink backbone. Access to their Data Centre was set up through the Marlink MPLS Backbone.

Network as a Service

Marlink’s Network-as-a-Service solution lets our customers offload the day-to-day burden of running the network directly to Marlink. We become responsible for their overall network management, guaranteeing automatic failover routing and smooth use of applications throughout the network.

This is a flexible outsourcing service. When our customer requires new, customised configurations and capabilities such as cyber detection, firewalling, filtering, cloud access, bandwidth-on-demand, bandwidth usage per application, we simply integrate it through Marlink’s unified Portal in “one-click”.

We also provide field services, including site surveys, hardware installation, configuration and commissioning done by certified Marlink people.

Key Achievements

The Caterpillar distributor achieved the following successful takeaways:

  • Global connectivity for all users of the business network
  • Central network management and supervision of satellite and terrestrial links, from LAN to the cloud
  • Full interconnection to cloud services and data centres through high-speed peering
  • Unified WAN/LAN security and control of all connections
  • Optimised Quality of Service and SD-WAN orchestration for faster data delivery and enhanced application performance
  • Better user experience
  • Proactive network monitoring
  • Content filtering to ensure that other applications do not consume the bandwidth allocated to corporate traffic

About The Caterpillar Distributor

The company, with its headquarter in France, has been a Caterpillar dealer for over 85 years and is operating through a reseller network of more than 2200 people throughout 11 countries in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal & Togo. The Caterpillar distributor operates in the fields of Construction & Infrastructure, Mining, Energy, and Industrial Equipment.