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Juniper and NEC electrify Powerco’s WiFi user experience
Wed, 11th Jan 2023

Juniper Networks, a firm providing secure, AI-driven networks, and NEC Corporation, a global IT and network transformation services provider, have announced that they have been selected by Powerco, New Zealand's second-largest gas and electricity distributor, to design and deploy an innovative new WiFi network across its sites nationwide. 

Powerco delivers electricity and gas to over 1.1 million customers linked to its grid via 28,441km of electricity lines and cables and over 6,100km of gas pipes. 

Given the mission-critical and essential services it provides, Powerco needed to ensure robust connectivity and its employees' health, safety and security when operating across its massive utility grid. Having experienced several issues with their legacy WiFi network, Powerco began looking into replacing their incumbent wireless vendor, which would allow them to embark on a WiFi 6 upgrade as part of a more extensive technology refresh.

The company turned to Juniper alongside its global strategic partner NEC, with which it has long-term partnerships. As a result, Juniper has been Powerco's networking backbone provider and named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Wired and Wireless LAN Infrastructure. 

NEC's partnership with Powerco includes the provision of skilled consultancy and design for multi-domain networks catered to their needs. In addition, through solution trials, Juniper and NEC have successfully demonstrated how their AI-driven wireless networks can optimise Powerco's WiFi experience across its nationwide operations. 

Delighted with the better network assurance, insights and visibility offered, as well as the ease of management operations and troubleshooting, Powerco decided to replace the incumbent solution with Juniper's Wireless Access Points and Juniper Mist WiFi Assurance.

Alongside the consultancy and implementation services provided by NEC, the new platform now offers automated and real-time insights into user experiences for Powerco across its network.

“Powerco's mission-critical services are essential to its customers across New Zealand, and Juniper is delighted to be able to continue our long-standing partnership with them by delivering experience-first networking to its entire WiFi network nationwide alongside NEC, a key global alliance partner with a well-established history in New Zealand. Our technology has been built to fundamentally leverage the operational and user benefits of the cloud and AI, and we look forward to providing Powerco with superior user experiences based on network assurance, insights and visibility into the future," says Ken Lord, Country Manager, New Zealand, Juniper Networks.

Powerco is exploring further upgrades across its broader networking infrastructure alongside Juniper and NEC. This would allow it to deliver even more AI-driven insights into its network's overall performance and health while streamlining efficiencies and minimising operational burdens placed on its IT staff.

“The essential services Powerco provides are pivotal across much of New Zealand, and NEC is honored to contribute as a key business partner to the ongoing digital transformation of their network alongside Juniper. Delivering state-of-the-art solutions that provide significant customer-centric value is a goal we share with Juniper, and we look forward to helping Powerco further uplift and transform its networking operations to better serve New Zealand for a long time to come,” adds Nelson Gomes, Head of Networks, NEC New Zealand.