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:
Heavily fortified with no tolerance for failure
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.
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:
WAN capacity increased 240%
Improved latency an average of 15%
Users experiencing typical 20% performance improvement in Internet and cloud connectivity
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
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.