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CMC Networks & Webber Wentzel Network Infrastructure and Security to South Africa

CMC Networks is the Big Five law firm with fortress of network security, scalability, availability, and absolute control
By Josefina Dipaolo
October 5, 2023

In a move set to bolster network security, scalability, availability, and control, CMC Networks, the renowned global Tier 1 service provider operating in 51 out of 54 African countries, has teamed up with Webber Wentzel, one of South Africa's prominent "Big Five" law firms. This partnership aims to fortify Webber Wentzel's network infrastructure across South Africa, addressing the critical need for data protection in a sector handling highly sensitive information.

CMC Networks has taken a proactive approach to enhance Webber Wentzel's network capabilities by delivering an end-to-end solution that not only optimizes efficiency but also reinforces data security for the law firm's discerning clientele.

This strategic collaboration witnessed CMC Networks upgrading Webber Wentzel's wide-area network (WAN) to a cutting-edge software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN). In addition to this, they revamped the local-area network (LAN), integrated advanced Wi-Fi technology, and harnessed the power of cloud solutions. The crown jewel of this transformation is the implementation of the ultra-secure, full-meshed Juniper Session Smart Router (SSR) SD-WAN, boasting high-availability nodes at Webber Wentzel's Cape Town and Sandton offices. Furthermore, a virtual appliance residing in Microsoft Azure complements this setup. CMC Networks has ensured comprehensive security across the network with the introduction of a Juniper vSRX virtual firewall in Azure, utilizing a combination of Zero-Trust Security and L3-L7 application control functionality at various checkpoints.

Marisa Trisolino, CEO at CMC Networks, emphasized the unique approach they took for the legal sector, stating, "We understand the unique needs of the legal sector and created a solution that delivers high-performance connectivity matched with security and privacy. When managing ultra-sensitive data, how you deploy and manage your network is critical. Enterprises across Africa continue to choose CMC Networks because of our service, support, and ability to deliver solutions wherever our customers operate. No matter what vertical industry they’re in, we collaborate and create solutions that serve their specific requirements."

The implementation of SD-WAN utilized CMC Networks' dual IP Premier Direct Internet Access (DIA) service, which guarantees the highest level of Service Level Agreement (SLA) and ultra-low latencies, ensuring an unparalleled customer experience. Additionally, CMC Networks introduced a full-stack Juniper LAN and Wi-Fi solution powered by Juniper's Mist AI. This solution incorporates enterprise-grade Ethernet switches and Wi-Fi 6 access points, enabling the Mist AI platform to provide invaluable insights into the local LAN and WAN. These insights improve performance, security, and the overall user experience for Webber Wentzel.

Warren Hero, Chief Information Officer at Webber Wentzel, stressed the importance of security and privacy in the legal sector, saying, "At Webber Wentzel, the security, privacy, and confidentiality of our customers’ data is always front and center. With cyber threats constantly on the rise, it’s never been more important for us to adapt and upgrade our network to keep up with the changing threat landscape. Partnering with CMC Networks has enabled us to not only provide new levels of security for our customers but also improve network efficiencies to enhance our customers’ experiences when working with us."

CMC Networks' commitment to this partnership extends beyond infrastructure upgrades. They are also in the process of designing and implementing a new contact center and back-office voice solution for Webber Wentzel, based on Microsoft Teams. This innovative solution leverages a cloud PBX and SIP trunks to manage inbound voice traffic efficiently. The network infrastructure ensures superior Quality of Service (QoS) and application steering capabilities, promising the best possible user experience. CMC Networks will deliver the entire solution as a fully managed service, offering comprehensive support to Webber Wentzel.

CMC Networks is a globally recognized Tier 1 service provider, dedicated to accelerating digital transformation in some of the world's most challenging markets. With its headquarters in South Africa, CMC Networks boasts over 30 years of experience, combining extensive network reach across six continents with expertise in AI, cloud, cybersecurity, EDGE, SDN, virtualization, and a range of services tailored to address local enterprise challenges with world-class solutions.

Operating in over 110 Service Locations, CMC Networks provides cost-effective, scalable, and resilient network solutions to Carriers, Governments, Multinationals, and various non-profit organizations. Their extensive pan-African network covers 51 out of 54 countries in Africa, along with a presence in 12 countries in the Middle East and regional hubs worldwide, including Europe, the UK, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific. CMC Networks is primarily backed by The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm managing $222 billion in assets across 365 investment vehicles.

Founded in 1868, Webber Wentzel is a prominent South African full-service law firm offering innovative solutions to complex legal and tax challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa. With a team of over 450 lawyers based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the firm's multi-disciplinary expertise consistently earns top-tier rankings in leading directories and awards, both within South Africa and across the continent. Webber Wentzel's collaborative alliance with Linklaters, coupled with strong relationships with exceptional law firms across Africa, ensures clients receive market-leading support wherever they conduct business. The firm's core ethos emphasizes diversity as the key to delivering effective legal services in South Africa, harnessing the diverse experiences and perspectives of its team to provide clients with unique and tailored services.

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