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«Today, you can no longer separate network operations and security.»

Felix Kündig, Chief Financial Officer,
and Michael Kocher, Head of IT,
Mammut Sports Group

About Mammut Sports Group

In 1862, Kaspar Tanner opened a rope factory in Dintikon in the Swiss canton of Aargau, thus laying the foundations for what is now the Mammut Sports Group, one of the world’s most cutting-edge and innovative companies specializing in the development and sale of alpine sports and outdoor equipment. The Mammut Sports Group, which has been part of the global Conzzeta Group since 1982, now employs a workforce of 718 at its headquarters in Switzerland and its subsidiaries in Germany, Norway, the UK, Japan, South Korea, China and the US. Thanks to its global distribution network, the Mammut Sports Group generates some 80 percent of its revenue outside Switzerland. Around 65 percent of the company’s revenue comes from clothing, but climbing ropes – of which Mammut is probably the most renowned provider on the market – remain a vital segment. The company is also highly innovative when it comes to marketing. With www. mammut.ch and #project360, Mammut has been opening up the third dimension of digital alpine cartography since 2014 and enabling viewers to experience at first hand the thrills of famous mountains all around the world on their computer or smartphone screens.

Mammut online:
www.mammut.ch
project360.mammut.ch

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Following the company’s growth and expansion into new markets, the existing IT network of the Mammut Sports Group was reaching the limits of its capacity. For Felix Kündig, CFO of the Mammut Sports Group, and Michael Kocher, Head of Information Technology, this was a reason to act. A new, secure SD-WAN now provides the necessary security, performance, flexibility and efficiency at all of the company’s global locations.

Mr. Kündig, as CFO of the Mammut Sports Group you are also responsible for IT. Is IT a cost factor or a business driver for you?

Felix Kündig: IT is definitely a business driver. Mammut has a high affinity for technology – you can sense it in our products, in the way we work as a company and also in our communication with our dialog groups. Even though I am a financial specialist by profession, I still know that IT is a key strategic factor in our success.

Mr. Kocher, you manage global IT operations and, together with your team, are responsible for ensuring that everything runs smoothly. The words of your boss must be music to your ears...

→ Michael Kocher: Certainly. Of course it’s fantastic when the work you do has such a big influence on the company’s success, but it is also a great responsibility. The underlying conditions for business IT have changed considerably in recent years. Complexity levels have risen enormously and the expectations – both from the business and from our colleagues – are extremely high.

«Our strong growth and the associated global expansion led to a situation in which our old WAN solution was no longer consistent with our business model. It became more and more difficult to meet the needs of the business.»

You have completely reorganized your global network. What was the reason for that?

→ F. K.: There were various reasons why we wanted to – or in our view had to – take those steps. Mammut is part of the Conzzeta Group. In contrast to the other Group companies, we are a business-to-consumer organization and one that is greatly driven by marketing. Our strong growth and the associated global expansion led to a situation in which our old WAN solution was no longer consistent with our business model. It became more and more difficult to meet the needs of the business. We lacked transparency, control and bandwidth, which made the introduction of new applications, for instance in the area of unified communications, practically impossible.

 M. K.: We had set ourselves the goal of being able to operate more efficiently, quickly and flexibly in the global market. It was not so much about technology. For us, it was more of a matter of principle, a conceptual issue. The people in charge within the Group understood this and were very supportive in many respects. Naturally we were aware of the fact that the Group would not compromise when it came to security and compliance.

A lot of companies would like to follow the path taken by Sulzer. But they’re plagued by general uncertainty. What would you see as the most important success factors?

 To start with, you need to define a precise goal that is tailored to the company’s requirements and strategic aims. The goal can naturally be a bit ambitious, but it must be something you can actually achieve. Then to flesh out the vision, you need the right people with intimate knowledge of the company, who know what is possible in terms of IT.

«With the SD-WAN and the security services from Open Systems, we have created an excellent basis from which to pursue flexible growth. I am confident that we are extremely well equipped to handle whatever the future may bring.»

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