Connecting Chocolate Factories in South East Asia

Ingolo Shirlyne Mmbone


Chocolate manufacturers use IX Managed Internet Service to connect factories in South East Asia.

Established in 1996, the end client is one of the world's largest chocolate and cocoa products manufacturers. The head office is located in Zurich. The company was formed as a merger between two large chocolate companies in Europe. It has 53 factories operating in 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and the Pacific. As a key player in the global cocoa industry, it supplies high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, including cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and cocoa liquor.

The company expanded and runs ten chocolate and cocoa factories across Asia; China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. This move was set to ramp up production in the Asian market in a bid to meet increased demand from Southeast Asian countries, South Korea and beyond. The regional headquarters are stationed in Singapore.

Their products are present in one out of four of all chocolate and cocoa products consumed around the world. The company is like the Microsoft of chocolate; it provides software to the other chocolate producers, enabling them to get more sales.

The end client sought a cost-effective solution to connect their branches in South East Asia to Singapore as the central command point.

The company recently expanded within Indonesia. In addition to the new chocolate factory in Rancaekek has another chocolate factory in Gresik and two cocoa factories located in Bandung and Makassar. They also have one in Port Klang, Malaysia. However, some of these locations are located in the capital’s outskirts, away from stable connectivity. This posed a challenge for their operations:

  • Lack of connectivity in some factory sites: The sites were in dire need of a reliable, secure and consistent network. Unfortunately, the site locations were based in the outskirts of the capital city, where fibre lines were not available.
  • Scarcity of Network Providers: The distance of the factory sites proved a challenge as service providers were not able to avail their services in these areas.
  • Loss of revenue due to sporadic factory operations: Given the location of the factory sites and lack of fibre, their previous network provider encountered constant internet failure and was unable to meet the standards of the service level agreement. This resulted in irregular factory operations, which pushed them to revert to manual operations.


IX Telecom worked closely with the end client to resolve this hurdle. The first step was to lay out the necessary network infrastructure such as fibre cables in the areas that previously had none.

  • We deployed a hybrid connection mix (MPLS, DIA and wireless) to overcome the downtime. We set them up for the factories in the urban areas to use MPLS connectivity as the primary lines and dedicated internet access as their backup. Those located in the outskirts of the city were set up to use dedicated internet access as the primary line and wireless radio service as the backup. That way, all network interruptions would immediately be reverted to the backup.
  • Despite the delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we leveraged partner relationships and pushed deployment to nighttime and weekends to meet our target timeline. This enabled us to complete the full deployment in record time.
  • Connecting all the sites back to the regional headquarters in Singapore. We configured the network for all the factory sites in Indonesia and Malaysia. This automated some of the processes and relieved the manual burden.


Given the set timeline, we set up all the end client’s sites in Indonesia with the necessary network infrastructure to carry out the project smoothly.

  • Central command: All the sites were successfully connected back to the Singapore network and central command was achieved making it easier to detect and troubleshoot network issues. With a centralized system, commands can be implemented in seconds across the entire network.
  • Saved Costs: The end client managed to leverage the hybrid network, which significantly reduced the interruptions experience in their plant sites. This resulted in saved costs and time for them.
  • Readily available network experts for remote sites: We availed a pool of readily available partners who were ready to attend to any network issues.