Ekol’s business model is bolstered by technological inspiration which blends mind, heart and consciousness while constantly offering integrated, interconnected and innovative solutions to the customers. With Extreme sharing a similar vision, it became clear that the distinctive blue sea containers and violet networking solutions would make a perfect match!
Logistics 4.0. This simple and elegant brand tagline best characterizes Ekol Lojistik, a Turkish-based logistics powerhouse that provides best-in-class international freight, warehousing, domestic distribution, foreign trade, customs, and supply chain management services for the majority of Europe, including Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Poland and Sweden, among others.
From the very first day, the Turkish giant has set out with an objective to become a leading logistics brand in the world. Ekol’s business model is bolstered by technological inspiration which blends mind, heart and consciousness while constantly offering integrated, interconnected and innovative solutions to the customers.
With Extreme sharing a similar vision, it became clear that the distinctive blue sea containers and violet networking solutions would make a perfect match. Today we are talking with Murat Çevikbaş, IT Director of Ekol Lojistik.
Which items do you have on your agenda these days? You have been managing a huge operation. But what do you think might be the main topics that particularly come to the fore?
We have a team giving support for IT services in 85 different locations, and the hub of all technology departments in Turkey. All countries get support from Turkey in technical services, network system management and software development. Therefore as the number of new applications or locations increase in many countries, problems begin to increase, too. I suppose one of the most important investments we have made this year is starting to make use of the campus network and initiating some work in order to apply new technologies developed by Extreme Networks so as to make the management easier and carry on more business with fewer people.
We also make use of many IoT tools in storehouses and vehicles. The development in IoT has possibly been among the greatest projects of 2019 for Ekol. But with the developments in IoT tools, some problems emerge, too. The leading problem being the security. As a solution to this problem, one of our projects is to try out Extreme Defender for IoT. Of course, there are numerous projects in technology. There are indeed hundreds of projects, but as for the projects in network, I think our most important two projects for 2019 are the ones I have just mentioned.
How did you get to know Extreme? How long and to what extent have you been making use of Extreme solutions?
We have been familiar with Extreme Solutions for quite a long time. The company didn’t start its operations under the name of Extreme. So we first started to use the wireless infrastructure called Symbol, which was the name of the company back then. Then the name was first changed to Motorola, then to Zebra and ultimately to Extreme. It has been three and a half years since we began to use the edge switches and backbones of Extreme. For three and a half years we have been making use of Extreme network in every new location we build and we update outmoded technologies used in the already existing locations with Extreme network products. At Ekol, we have currently over 500 switches and our network team manages around 17.000 or 18.000 IP. And including the ones in the updated locations, for the 60% of the switches and IPs, we use the infrastructure of Extreme Networks.
These numbers are indeed of great importance. Ekol Lojistik is one of the most important business partners – and I’m deliberately not using the word “customer” – for Extreme Networks. We value Ekol Lojistik greatly in every sense and do our best so that we can work together in all technologies we develop…
We, too, see you as a business partner, instead of a manufacturer from which we purchase products, because we owe our network infrastructure to you.
You also hold the position of Customer Advisory Board Member on behalf of Extreme Networks. It means you are a member of an institution which directs the product development and product strategy of Extreme Networks and where a very limited number of our customers are entitled to participate. Would you please describe your experience in that particular role?
When I was selected as a member at Customer Advisory Board, I asked Extreme, to be honest “what this institution is all about?”. Extreme told me that it was a shared platform where customers could talk about their own experience, requirements, problems, challenges and recommendations. The Customer Advisory Board meeting organized in Prague last year was especially fantastic and enormously productive, because all the participants in the meeting were coming from different countries and they were the heads of the teams managing huge networks. They explained their own problems. I have realized that the answer to my question of what actions should be taken in wireless communication, which was actually one of the very important problematic issues I did put forward in last year’s meeting, has been shared in this year’s presentations (editor’s note: at the Extreme NOW World Tour 2.0). This shows that the points discussed are taken into consideration.
Absolutely! Your feedback is indeed of great value for us. We make use of and take into consideration the feedback you share in all kinds of improvements we carry out and in directing our company, as you have also just said. Thank you for the interview!