Accenture establishes network virtualisation project
In a recent announcement made by Accenture the company - alongside Cisco, Sirti Digital and Enel Group - has established one of the largest corporate telecommunications network virtualisation projects in the world.
The project was designed and developed in Italy and has been reported to have reduced operating costs and significantly increased the agility of Enel’s infrastructure. The network connects over 1,000 sites over three continents and 10 countries such as Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Russia and North America.
The new initiative forms part of Enel Group’s broader strategic program - ‘Beyond Cloud Computing’. The program looks to merge the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology that optimises access to cloud applications and use of connectivity, and edge computing solutions in order to create a telecommunications architecture to help achieve operational excellence through the comprehensive processes of digitisation.
“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.
Based on a lean virtual infrastructure that uses both private and public networks, this solution prior to the announcement was considered hard to achieve, due to unwillingness to use public connectivity. However, Accenture highlights that the reluctance has been lifted with the adoption of a secure dedicated virtual network, which provides high quality service and reduced costs.
“The program has enabled the introduction of architectures and technologies aimed at accelerating digitisation 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,” commented Accenture in a company statement.
As a result the project has allowed Enel Group to significantly reduce go-to-market times and optimise cost efficiency, via the rationalisation of systems. In addition the project has reduced 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,” added Accenture.
Working in partnership with Accenture, Cisco and Sirti Digital the new infrastructure was built by Enel Global Digital Solutions.
- Accenture supported the management of the transformation programme and implementation of the centralised infrastructure
- Cisco provided innovative features via its Viptela SD-WAN technology and contributed to the network’s overall design
- Sirti Digital Solutions supported the implementation of the distributed components across the new architecture as well as the migration of network services
Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution
Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand.
So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes, basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”