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Mary Kay

Running a major multimedia advertising campaign on the heels of a network overhaul was no party for the Mary Kay IT staff.

Network architect Rob Wieters says the global cosmetics company had barely finished a forklift upgrade of servers, routers, switches, and firewalls in April 2005 when it learned the ad campaign would be launched in September. The campaign included May Kay's first major TV advertising push as well as print and Internet ads.

Wieters needed to make sure the extra Web traffic the ad campaign would draw would not interfere with the supply chain system and other business applications the firm relies on. Mary Kay's Website handles more than 90 percent of the company's orders from independent contractors.

"Most of our business is conducted over the Internet via ecommerce portals," Wieters says. "There are outside vendors accessing our network that we don't want to be negatively impacted. We did not have any way to prioritize inbound commercial and corporate applications coming into our network against email traffic."

Mary Kay had used a WAN optimization appliance in some of its international branches, but Wieters says, "It wasn't useful, it was kludgy to operate, and it was difficult to set up policies and understand what the policies were going to look like." Little wonder he can't recall the name of the vendor.

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