Harley-Davidson holds its H.O.G rallies all over the world
It’s no secret that CIOs hate their WAN – but sometimes, a change of network is all that’s necessary to solve connectivity challenges. That’s what Harley-Davidson found when looking for a new solution for its European H.O.G rallies last year.
Harley-Davidson runs several of its own events (H.O.G rallies) through the year, but in 2016 found that its events were suffering from poor connectivity due to ageing infrastructure.
For its first meetups of the year, the company was using a 3G roaming SIM service from Truphone and existing Deltenna WiBe/Huawei 3G and 4G routers. However, this caused problems at the rally in St Tropez, France, where the local cellular provider had set up a very short Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) scope duration; that meant that the device would have to pick up a new IP address from the provider every hour or so. As soon as it did that, the entire event lost its connection for up to 15 minutes.
Tim Hodgson, Harley-Davidson’s technical services manager for EMEA, told us, “We assumed [this problem] was because the technology we were using at the time was limited, so I began looking for a solution that would, in effect, bond multiple WAN sources together to provide us with a highly reliable connection.”
Hodgson found Continuum, a service from MSP Comms365 that bonds together multiple 4G connections. In this particular case, the company uses up to four wireless broadband extenders, so if one or two have a problem, the others can take up the slack. The bonded connection can then route the connection through any of the still-operational extenders.
Comms365 has taken away our previous overheads of administrative and technical support – Tom Hodgson, technical services manager for EMEA, Harley-Davidson
With new rallies coming up, speed was essential, but Hodgson has no complaints. He said, “We placed an order the day after our initial meeting at our headquarters in Oxford and had a fully configured solution ready for our H.O.G rally in just three working days.” He also praised the flexibility of the no-contract service, which was only needed for three events in St Tropez, Slovenia and Austria.
“It’s safe to say that we’re planning to expand how we work with Comms365 and that Continuum will be used for all our rallies next year,” Hogson concluded.
As well as increased reliability, bonded networks bring more speed and capacity.