DHL is a Ready Business

DHL and Vodafone deliver a single WAN for Africa

Africa’s rise as an emerging market is a major expansion opportunity for many international businesses. Yet the continent is so huge and varied that many infrastructure challenges remain. How do you establish a common operating model? How do you deal with multiple suppliers across different countries?

Vodafone and DHL are working together to help to crack these critical issues. In the process they are creating unprecedented new opportunities for business in Africa.

Global DP DHL team issued an RFP for the new network to 16 potential partners. Of those 16, only 3 came back with realistic responses. Many of the responders said that what DHL was trying to achieve would not be possible for at least another three or four years. That left Vodafone as the only willing investor and viable contender.

“What a contender Vodafone turned out to be,” says Shannon. “They had a can-do attitude right from the start. It was also clear it was going to be a really collaborative approach. Vodafone gave a genuine commitment to work with us to build a groundbreaking communications network that would grow in line with our requirements and add incredible value to our business.”

Vodafone set about procurement of the backbone network soon afterwards, dealing with multiple communications and IT suppliers locally to get the right infrastructure in place for DHL. Working in partnership, the two companies have now built a single Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network that enables DHL to connect to any of its data centres in Prague, Johannesburg and Singapore, and helps to deliver a simplified service to its customers across Africa.

“We’re now able to roll out our global applications and services in Africa just like we would anywhere else in the world for a much reduced cost,” says Shannon.

For DHL’s customers, it’s a breakthrough.

"Vodafone gave us a genuine commitmet to work with us to build a ground breaking network that would grow in line with our requirements and add incredible value to our business." Ewan Shannon, IT Lead for Infrastructure and Service Management, DHL Supply Chain.


How did DHL benefit?

• Better operational agility: DHL is utilising Vodafone’s managed services and a unique single wide area network across Africa

• Better connected employees: At a moment’s notice DHL can deliver the same service in exactly the same way across Africa

• Better customer engagement: For the first time, DHL can help its customers expand into Africa and other emerging markets without the headache of negotiating a new logistics infrastructure for each country. It can also do this for a significantly lower cost