Taylor Farms transforms network management with a unified single-source solution
UPSTACK centralizes network sourcing & management for global vegetable giant
When Taylor Farms needed support sourcing a centralized and secure networking solution, it turned to UPSTACK to leverage its IT solutions expertise and extensive experience navigating the technology landscape. UPSTACK recommended CommandLink, a leading network services and global Information Technology Services Management (ITSM) provider, to help the vegetable producer gain control and visibility of its nationwide network.
Taylor Farms is the world’s largest salad and fresh-cut vegetable producer, with $6 billion in annual revenue, 78 locations, and 20,000 employees in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The Fortune 500 company needed a technology partner that could support, secure, and enable its growing global operations at scale with a centrally managed secure network solution.
Taylor Farms’ vast geographical footprint across North America presented several challenges for network sourcing and management, including vendor sprawl, lack of visibility, inadequate control and support, unwieldy deployment schedules, manual support processes, and complex security.
In addition, Taylor Farms’ patchwork of network vendors required extensive hands-on management and coordination. When network issues arose, the company found it challenging to determine which provider to contact to correct the problem.
In 2021, the company decided to offload its network headaches by outsourcing to a single entity that could centralize sourcing and vendor management while meeting its exacting network requirements. Taylor Farms had a longstanding relationship with UPSTACK. They asked UPSTACK Partner and Managing Director Jake Cummins and Enterprise Advisor Brandon Marx for help finding a single-source managed networking solution.
The Approach & Solution
After thoroughly evaluating Taylor Farms’ networking environment, the UPSTACK team recommended the CommandLink global IT service management (ITSM) platform and network that could serve as a single source for managed multicarrier network connectivity, centralized software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), and cybersecurity.
In addition, CommandLink provides another layer of support in addition to UPSTACK’s Customer Experience Resources with around-the-clock dedicated Tier–3 support from network experts. CommandLink also offered UPSTACK and Taylor Farms visibility into the new network through its proprietary ITSM platform.
“Taylor Farms evaluated multiple solutions, but UPSTACK won the business based on our thorough understanding of the company’s environment, our track record of service, and CommandLink’s comprehensive vendor-agnostic solution and dedicated support model,” said Brandon.
In conjunction with UPSTACK’s project management team, CommandLink deployed an ultra-redundant, diverse networking solution that leverages primary and secondary dedicated internet access (DIA) and tertiary non-terrestrial LTE or fixed wireless connections for business continuity. Additionally, CommandLink deployed Versa Networks’ appliances, which support SD-WAN, next-generation firewall (NGFW), and unified threat management (UTM) in the cloud and at the edge.
The initial project, which included 68 locations, continues to grow as Taylor Farms adds new sites. The last count was 78 locations.
“UPSTACK and CommandLink executed against Taylor Farms’ accelerated deployment timeline by handling network cutovers after business hours midweek instead of only on weekends,” said Brandon. “We’ve done it without any offices losing connectivity.”
By working with UPSTACK, Taylor Farms experienced many benefits, including:
- $1 million in annual cost savings
- Reliability and 100 percent uptime SLA at each location thanks to CommandLink’s unique and ultra-redundant network architecture
- Scalability through CommandLink’s ITSM by unifying global security, voice, and data, making service procurement and management quick and flawless
- Streamlined technology management, enhanced network visibility, and thousands of manual IT support hours saved
- Additional dedicated 24/7 support through CommandLink’s Tier-3 POD support
- Accelerated deployment without interruption
Encouraged by the success of its partnership with CommandLink, Taylor Farms plans to add thousands of UCaaS seats, integrate CommandLink’s IT ticketing platform, and add managed services like managed switching and managed Wi-Fi. To this day, Taylor Farms continues to leverage UPSTACK’s expertise and technology partner ecosystem to ensure its IT processes and solutions continue to fulfill its IT goals.
The Value of Partnering with UPSTACK
“UPSTACK came to our rescue with their expertise and recommended CommandLink as the perfect solution. Together, they delivered a comprehensive network management and security solution that centralized our operations and provided us with the control and visibility we desperately needed.
The results have been remarkable. We are looking to achieve annual cost savings of $1 million, but we also gained reliability with a 100 percent uptime SLA at each location, thanks to CommandLink’s ultra-redundant network architecture. This reliability has been a game-changer for our operations. The 24/7 Tier-3 support from CommandLink has been invaluable, ensuring that we’re always covered, even in the most critical situations. We’ve also been impressed by the accelerated deployment without any disruptions, a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the UPSTACK and CommandLink teams.”
Brandon leverages over 16 years of experience in delivering technology solutions to oversee key UPSTACK accounts in sectors like agriculture, entertainment, biotech, and technology services. His deep understanding of global data centers and networks, developed as a founder and consultant for a leading tech and telecom consultancy, drives the efficient execution of complex solutions and significant cost reductions for customers.
“UPSTACK and CommandLink have not only addressed our immediate IT challenges but have set us on a path of continuous improvement and growth.”