Enel connects more than a thousand sites through a global virtualization project

Accenture, Cisco and Sirti worked together with the Enel Group on one of the largest corporate telecommunications network virtualization projects in the world, accelerating the company’s digital transformation.

Designed and developed in Italy, the program 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 more than 10 countries (including Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Russia and North America).

The initiative is part of an Enel strategic program, called ‘Beyond Cloud Computing’. The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), technology that optimizes access to cloud applications and the use of connectivity, as well as cutting-edge computing solutions, which merge to create a telecommunications architecture, helps to achieve operational excellence through comprehensive process digitization.

“The‘ Beyond Cloud Computing ’project is part of a digital transformation program launched in 2015 through migration to the cloud. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtualization of network equipment allowed us to manage our infrastructure remotely, without the need for personnel on site”, says Carlo Bozzoli, responsible for Enel’s Global Digital Solutions area.

The project is based on a complete virtual infrastructure that, in addition to private networks, also uses public networks. Until recently, this was not a solution due to some resistance from the company to use public connectivity.

This difficulty has now been overcome with the adoption of a secure virtual network, which offers a high quality and low-cost service, precisely because it was built integrating public and private infrastructures.

The program allowed for the introduction of architectures and technologies aimed at accelerating digitization through a public cloud, and shows the Group’s first step towards cutting-edge computing, which will reduce data processing latency, thus increasing processing capacity in All country.

This project allowed Enel to significantly reduce its time to market and optimize profitability. It also reduced operating costs, allowing remote management of maintenance operations.

Enel now integrates innovative technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality (AR) and virtual (VR), in its network to facilitate the monitoring, management and maintenance of its assets located throughout Italy.

The agility and potential of the new infrastructure was demonstrated during the response to the COVID-19 crisis, as Enel quickly got its more than 37,000 employees to work remotely, with secure and easy access to corporate and collaborative applications.

The new infrastructure was built by Enel Global Digital Solutions, in conjunction with Accenture, Cisco and Sirti. Accenture supported the management of the transformation program and the implementation of the centralized infrastructure, with innovative resources provided by Cisco’s SD-WAN Viptela technology.

Cisco also contributed to the overall design of the network, while Sirti Digital Solutions supported the implementation of components distributed in the new architecture across the country and the migration of network services.

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