July 23, 2020
Enel Beyond the Cloud: More Than a Thousand Sites Connected by One of the World’s Largest Network Virtualization Projects
The new infrastructure, created in collaboration with Accenture, Cisco and Sirti Digital Solutions, combines private and public networks to boost agility and cost efficiency
ROME; July 23, 2020 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Sirti have worked together with Enel Group on one of the largest corporate telecommunications network virtualization projects in the world, accelerating Enel’s digital transformation. Designed and developed in Italy, the program has led to a reduction in operating costs, significantly increasing the agility of Enel’s infrastructure. The network connects more than 1,000 sites on three continents and in over 10 countries (including Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Russia, among others in North America).
The initiative is part Enel’s broader strategic program called Beyond Cloud Computing, in which the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), technology that optimises access to cloud applications and use of connectivity, and edge computing solutions merge to create a telecommunications architecture that helps to achieve operational excellence through the comprehensive digitization of processes.
“The Beyond Cloud Computing project is part of a digital transformation program launched in 2015 with a migration to the cloud. During the COVID-19 emergency, the virtualization of network equipment has allowed us to manage our infrastructure remotely, without the need to have personnel on site," said Carlo Bozzoli, who serves as head of Enel’s Global Digital Solutions.
The project is based on a lean virtual infrastructure that, in addition to private networks, also uses public networks. Until recently, this solution was considered hard to achieve, due to the company’s unwillingness to use public connectivity. This reluctance has now been overcome through the adoption of a secure dedicated virtual network, offering high quality service and reduced costs, precisely because it was built by integrating public and private infrastructure.
The program has enabled the introduction of architectures and technologies aimed at accelerating digitization through a public cloud. It showcases the group’s first step toward edge computing, which will reduce data processing latency, thus boosting the processing capacity distributed around the country.
This project has allowed Enel to significantly reduce go-to-market times and optimize cost efficiency, from the rationalization of systems. It has also cut operating costs by enabling the remote management of maintenance operations. Enel will also be able to integrate innovative technologies, such as the Internet of Things and augmented and virtual reality, into its network to facilitate the monitoring, management and maintenance of its assets located throughout Italy.
Proof of the new infrastructure’s potential and agility was provided during the response to the COVID-19 crisis, as Enel swiftly enabled its more than 37,000 employees to work remotely, allowing them to access corporate applications and collaborate securely.
The new infrastructure was built by Enel Global Digital Solutions, working in partnership with Accenture, Cisco and Sirti. Accenture supported the management of the transformation programme and implementation of the centralized infrastructure, with innovative features provided by Cisco’s Viptela SD-WAN technology. Cisco also contributed to the network’s overall design, while Sirti Digital Solutions supported the implementation of the distributed components across the new architecture throughout Italy and the migration of network services.
Enel is a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global power, gas and renewables markets. It is the largest European utility by ordinary EBITDA, and is present in over 30 countries worldwide, producing energy with over 88 GW of managed capacity. Enel distributes electricity through a network of over 2.2 million kilometers, and with around 74 million business and household end users globally, the Group has the largest customer base among its European peers. Enel’s renewables arm Enel Green Power is the world’s largest renewable private player, managing over 46 GW of wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower plants in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations, with digital capabilities across all of these services. We combine unmatched experience and specialized capabilities across more than 40 industries — powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. With 513,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture brings continuous innovation to help clients improve their performance and create lasting value across their enterprises. Visit us at www.accenture.com.\
Cisco is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet. Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining your applications, securing your data, transforming your infrastructure, and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future. Discover more on The Network and follow us on Twitter.
Sirti is an innovation hub in the field of network infrastructure development. Founded in 1921, it operates in the sectors of Telecommunications, Energy, Transportation and Digital Solutions with about 4,100 employees. Sirti is also a successful player at international level in Europe and the Middle East.
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