Skullcandy switches to Aryaka, meets spike in customer demand

technoloryindustryThe technology industry has been buzzing with the news that Apple Inc. plans to remove the headphone jack in its immensely popular iPhones. In the past, the headphone industry never used to make much news, until Apple bought Beats Electronics for $3 billion. Given this latest development, the headphone industry will now face a critical situation, even more so than the mobile industry. Lightning-based headphones can offer a superior experience, and Bluetooth audio has come a long way in recent years, but one of the most popular players in the market, Skullcandy, stands to benefit a great deal as it is the only pure-play headphone company. Skullcandy has been adept at keeping up with trends not only in the headphones market, but also in the networking space, by getting rid of MPLS to improve business productivity and meet a rise in demand.

On the lookout for a consistent, stable and reliable WAN
customer-demandWhen systems manager Yohan Beghein joined Skullcandy as a network architect, he had a major challenge at hand — customer demand spiked tremendously during the holiday season. To meet this level of demand, productivity and collaboration levels needed to be at an all-time high. With MPLS, this was a challenge. Application performance was poor, and Skullcandy was experiencing latency issues. With offices around the globe and the adoption of cloud-based SAP Business ByDesign, Beghein needed to deliver a consistent, stable, reliable and latency-optimized WAN to implement better global productivity and collaboration for Skullcandy.

The rescue mission at Shenzhen
After an arduous search procedure, Beghein came across Aryaka and did a proof of concept with two of their sites, Skullcandy’s headquarters in Utah and their office in Shenzhen, China. The deployment was up within a week, and the performance improvements were such that the end users in China had this to say: “Wow! What did you do to the network?” After deploying Aryaka’s WAN as-a-Service, Skullcandy’s Telepresence, VoIP, SAP Business ByDesign and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) application performance increased significantly, and Skullcandy was able to meet the spikes in demand, as well as improve employee productivity.

What did Aryaka do differently?
With MPLS, it took several months to get the links and bandwidth in place, but since Aryaka has global Points of Presence (POPs), Skullcandy just needed to connect to Aryaka’s POPs via standard IPSec VPN tunnels. These tunnels, with built-in redundancy, allowed Skullcandy to talk to their HQ, data center and cloud/SaaS resources. For example, when users typed “” into their browsers, the traffic was automatically routed to Aryaka and was then optimized and routed to SAP’s datacenters. Combine this with flexibility of bandwidth, 24x7x365 support, zero CapEx and 99.99% uptime, and Skullcandy now had access to a global cloud presence that was always available with low latency.


“Aryaka gives us much better flexibility, improves service levels, lowers overall cost, and simplifies our global environment,” said Mark Hopkins, Senior Director of IT at Skullcandy. “Overall it has been a big win for us!”

Simplified management + agile deployment = faster performance

A global presence does not mean it has to take more time to deploy a network. And once deployed, employees should be able to collaborate seamlessly, whether they are next door or halfway across the globe. Shifting to Aryaka simplifies network management and makes global companies like Skullcandy more agile, leading to faster performance and optimizing the use of time and money.

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About the author

Nilesh Surana is a Marketing Manager for Aryaka, a social media enthusiast and an ardent Manchester United fan.