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CLIENT CASE STUDY


Accenture’s cloud-centric network transformation

Achieving an always-on state with agility at hyper global scale

Accenture is a global, digital-first enterprise of 449,000 people always on, always working and always on the go. A critical asset in making this happen is Accenture’s corporate network. Accenture treats its corporate network as an asset, with significant and consistent investment, driving continuous innovation and adoption of new capabilities.

The convergence of cloud, software-defined networks and demand for carrier-grade performance pushed Accenture yet again for another step change. Accenture wanted to achieve “always on”—a heavily fortified, scalable network that not only connects employees, clients and hosted resources seamlessly and efficiently, but also securely anytime, anywhere.

These and other drivers led Accenture’s internal IT organization to undertake the next major transformation.

DEFINING STRATEGIC SHIFTS

Leveraging Accenture’s go-to-market strength in consulting, Accenture’s internal IT organization and Accenture Consulting subject matter experts joined forces to envision and collaborate on a next-generation network.

Together, they defined the strategic shifts needed to support the digital environment of today and to achieve an always-on state with agility—accelerating new enhancements to the network and delivering new capabilities and applications at speed and scale.


To reach this goal of agility, the objectives were to be:

Cloud-optimized

Cloud-optimized

Internet-first

Internet-first

Heavily fortified with no tolerance for failure

Heavily fortified with no tolerance for failure

HYPER-SCALE AND CLOUD TRANSFORMATION

The transformation migrated Accenture’s corporate, carrier-managed MPLS network to a dedicated private backbone supporting public and private cloud connectivity. This move placed cloud at the core of the company’s unified architecture.

Accenture’s backbone established selected SuperPoPs (points of presence in carrier-neutral hosting facilities) as hubs for all regional network traffic, supporting infrastructure and application hosting needs. In addition, Accenture took advantage of the carrier-neutral hosting facilities to provision Private Internal Cloud (PIC) environments at these locations for “on premise” hosting needs.

Access to the public cloud is handled via the Accenture Cloud Exchange (ACE), Accenture’s solution for bridging the private and public cloud. ACE also supports a hybrid cloud capability for application portability and the most efficient handling of workloads.

Hyper-scale and cloud transformation

ALWAYS-ON AT GLOBAL SCALE

Accenture went from 110 internal IT hosting locations and six legacy data centers to predominately public cloud consumption and nine strategically located PIC hosting centers. Network traffic across core locations and cloud is very low cost with unit costs reduced tenfold.

This most recent network transformation is enabling an always-on state with improved performance, service quality and cost on a global scale:

Performance

Performance

  • WAN capacity increased 240%

  • Improved latency an average of 15%

  • Users experiencing typical 20% performance improvement in Internet and cloud connectivity

Service Quality

Service Quality

  • 99.99% availability across core services

  • Faster provisioning in SuperPoP locations, typically 28 days or under

  • Maintained or improved Accenture’s security posture during transformation across all network architecture dimensions

Cost

Cost

  • 27% on average annual savings/cost avoidance for remote site connectivity

  • 10-fold reduction in cost per Mb across the network core

  • 2.5-year return on investment

Accenture has plans to continuously optimize and evolve the network. Instead of multiyear network transformation programs as in the past, IT will make continuous enhancements through agile, real-time delivery. The next phase of the vision is to evolve and mature to a full end-to-end, software-defined network—driven by analytics and continued high automation. This network will further extend Accenture’s flexibility and scale, speed to provisioning and cost optimization.

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