News Releases

Global Restaurant Vendor The Bama Companies, Inc. Taps Aruba to Deliver New Employee Experiences and Accelerate Productivity

Bama Enables a Mobile-First Workplace with Aruba Wi-Fi, Switching and Integrated Security Solutions

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:00 am PST

Public Company Information:

"We can save up to $18,000 just in cabling costs for one line now that we have high-performing, reliable Wi-Fi."

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced that The Bama Companies, Inc. (“Bama”), a leading producer of baked goods for the quick service restaurant and C-store industry in the U.S. and 20 countries around the globe, is using Aruba’s wireless, switching and security solutions to enable a mobile-first workplace that will enhance employees’ working experiences while improving operational productivity and overall efficiencies for the organization.

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bama produces a wide variety of baked goods for global quick service restaurant chains and C-stores located across the United States. With four locations – three in Tulsa and one in Poland, the company is upgrading its network infrastructure to meet the increasing need for a more efficient and mobile workplace.

Bama’s previous wireless infrastructure didn’t provide sufficient coverage and lacked the reliability the company needed for both its back office and manufacturing plant connectivity, as well as allowing employees – each of whom carry two to three devices – to conduct their jobs effectively.

“Mobilizing our workforce is a key strategic initiative,” said Eric Spille, Manager of Technical Services for Bama. “Without the right infrastructure, we couldn’t deliver the performance and reliability necessary for our employees to connect to the network easily or securely, and there were areas of our plants like the freezers that couldn’t be connected and monitored at all.”

Working with channel partner, SHI of Somerset, New Jersey, and local Oklahoma-based network integrator, RFIP, Bama deployed Aruba Access Points and Mobility Controllers with ArubaOS 8, Aruba network switches, AirWave for network management, and ClearPass for secure employee, vendor and guest access, and upcoming IoT initiatives.

With the Aruba solutions, Bama enabled pervasive coverage across its U.S. offices and manufacturing plants – including its previously excluded freezers – allowing employees to use a variety of mobile devices, and connecting the 150 Motorola Symbol (now Zebra Technologies) handheld and fork lift-mounted scanners the company uses for inventory management. Bama’s Poland plant will be tied into the new network by the end of 2018.

One of Bama’s primary objectives was delivering a better and more mobile experience to employees, particularly for the frequent training and safety courses they are required to complete. Previously, workers had to go to a specific training room to complete these courses. The new Aruba wireless network enables a dynamic, on-demand training environment in which employees can use their mobile devices to complete their training from any location.

According to Spille, the network has also been instrumental in helping Bama introduce a new manufacturing line at one of its facilities, while saving money in the process. Instead of having to run cable as they did previously, Bama can now utilize the wireless network.

“The cost savings per drop are probably anywhere from $2,000-$3,000,” Spille said. “We can save up to $18,000 just in cabling costs for one line now that we have high-performing, reliable Wi-Fi.”

Spille noted that ClearPass was one of the key factors in Bama’s decision to select Aruba. The IT team is using a “colorless port” strategy wherein any port on Bama’s access switches can connect to any device while ClearPass enforces appropriate role-based access. This simplifies set-up and configuration and optimizes port utilization. Users and devices will get access only to those resources and applications they need and for which they are authorized.

With ClearPass, Bama can also offer secure, sponsor-based guest access for partners and compliance officials, such as OSHA inspectors.

“I don’t think I’d even consider doing this without ClearPass,” Spille commented. “It’s the foundation of all the security we’re putting in place.”

Now that the new infrastructure has been installed, Bama is looking ahead to Industrial IoT. Spille said that the IT team will keep most of the manufacturing equipment on the wired network for now, but that there are many devices and “things” that can now connect wirelessly. In addition, Bama will evaluate some of the advanced automation features of ArubaOS 8 such as Live Upgrade, and will investigate the SD-WAN capabilities in Aruba’s solution.

Said Spille, “Before deploying Aruba, our wireless was a limiting factor. But now that we have robust and reliable Wi-Fi, we are prepared to address IoT and any other technology challenges that come our way.”

About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a leading provider of next-generation networking solutions for enterprises of all sizes worldwide. The company delivers IT solutions that empower organizations to serve the latest generation of mobile-savvy users who rely on cloud-based business apps for every aspect of their work and personal lives.

To learn more, visit Aruba at . For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at .


Pavel Radda
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Kathleen Keith
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company