Connect its global business via a virtualized infrastructure
Build a secure network to support its ambitious move to cloud
Deploy the networking solution to 1,000 Enel sites in six months
Cisco CX team supports design, project execution and optimization
Cisco SD-WAN delivers secure access to users, devices and apps
Viptela vEdge routers enable the virtualized network to scale
Repeatable solution can roll out to Enel sites around the world
Automation enables Enel to meet target of migrating 1,000 sites
Agile infrastructure helps to lower costs across global operations
Multinational energy company and one of the world’s leading integrated electricity and gas operators, Enel serves +30 countries across five continents. With about 70 million end users around the world, the organization is one of Europe’s leading energy companies by installed capacity and reported EBITDA.
Based in Italy, Enel depends on its network infrastructure to support its operations, and digitization is at the heart of the company’s vision. To extend its leadership by enabling rapid innovation, Enel launched an initiative to create a virtualized infrastructure that connects its global business.
Enel’s initiative, the Beyond the Cloud Computing (BCC) Project, features an SD-WAN architecture. This secure, cloud scale architecture is open, programmable and scalable. Managed through the Cisco vManage console, it lets organizations quickly establish an overlay fabric to connect data centers, branches, campuses, and colocation facilities to improve network speed, security, and efficiency.
“The BCC project focuses on utilizing more public connectivity to help us better manage cost across our global operations,” said Stefano Regaglia, Head of Engineering Services in Infrastructure and Technological Services at Enel. “It is also intended to enable us to virtualize functions, and drive the transformation of our applications from our legacy data center to the latest cloud services, such as AWS.”
Enel’s SD-WAN initiative was the first engagement of its kind in Italy. The strategy was an ambitious one, as Enel needed to migrate more than 1,000 branches across more than 10 countries to the new environment. To achieve its objective under a very aggressive timeline, the organization turned to the Cisco Customer Experience (CX) organization. As a trusted advisor, Cisco translated the customer’s vision into action, defining the target architecture solution to support the Enel virtualization strategy. The close cooperation between CX teams as well as product and services sales teams, was a key factor to in driving success.
The Cisco CX team played a key role in providing a custom-designed solution to meet Enel’s business requirements. The team assisted Enel in developing and articulating its solutions requirements; design, and implementation plan. Cisco CX also offered implementation support, to ensure the solution would deliver the highest possible return on investment.
“The support that we have received from Cisco has been very good,” said Regaglia. “After taking some time to integrate the solutions during the initial deployment, they poured in all the resources necessary to help us solve issues and reach our objectives.”
Enel’s technology partner, Accenture, was the primary advisor across the overall BCC project. For the SD-WAN component, Accenture helped Enel define the general architecture for the initiative, which the Cisco CX team led in implementation. The CX team also provided in-depth training to both Accenture and Enel for knowledge transfer to engineers.
Enel’s transformation project was highly complex. For this level of utilization, both in the core and in branch offices at the edge, the organization deployed general purpose servers to support the virtualized environment. This approach created challenges in assuring performance and implementation, because Enel was seeking to migrate mission-critical applications to the public cloud. The choice of the virtual version of the Viptela appliance, vEdge Cloud, the complexity of the customer’s specific requirements, and the aggressive migration plan made the project a significant challenge for Enel engineering team and Accenture.
“The BCC initiative is a complex one that will encompass our entire organization, and we would use every tool available, including Cisco CX, to support our project goal,” said Regaglia. “It enables us to rapidly move forward with our virtualization initiative and migrate our application environment to next-generation cloud services.”
“Our Cisco solution enables us to define and use templates, which can be quickly applied to a new site to deliver the services we require. That makes it easy to scale and extend our solution to new locations as needed.”Stefano Regaglia, Head of Engineering Services in Infrastructure and Technological Services, Enel
After successfully completing the initial SD-WAN deployment, Enel has begun extending its solution to additional offices worldwide. Under this strategic plan, the organization will migrate large numbers of sites to the new infrastructure under a short time frame. The solution has been deployed to more than 1,000 branches in just six months, with additional sites coming soon.
“Our Cisco solution enables us define and use templates, which can be quickly applied to a new site to deliver the services we require,” said Regaglia. “That makes it easy to scale and extend our solution to new locations as needed.”
Enel is also exploring how it can extend its solution beyond the enterprise environment to improve energy production efficiencies. “At this moment we are working to apply our Cisco solution to the industrial world, through connectivity to wind farms, photovoltaic farms, and other facilities, to integrate them with our SD-WAN,” said Regaglia.
To find out more about Cisco Customer Experience and how we can accelerate your success, check out our ebook, Accelerate Your Journey to Intent-Based Networking With Cisco Customer Experience.