CASE STUDY
PUTTING THE CLOUD AT THE HEART OF SGS’ FUTURE

SGS – When You Need to be Sure

Established in 1878, SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company with operations across a range of industry sectors, including industrial, minerals, oil, gas and chemicals. SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories for 9 business lines in 140 countries around the world and generates revenues in excess of CHF 6 billion.

Today, to provide a communications infrastructure underpinning the hundreds of IT applications and thousands of servers at the heart of such a dynamic, complex business, means embracing “the Cloud”.

HOW DOES SGS BENEFIT?
  • Enhanced security: Data is transported to & from the Cloud over the private, secured SGS Global WAN
  • Higher performance Cloud apps: More consistent application performance over reliable network connectivity therefore leads to improved user productivity
  • Ease of management: Accessing new Clouds is simply a case of opening a port to the extensive CLOUD X Fusion ecosystem with 20+ leading Cloud Service Providers already connected to the SGS network
  • Lower total cost of ownership: SGS’ network costs can be contained thanks to reduced data transfer charges from CSPs and no need for duplicate infrastructure
GCX PRODUCT & SERVICES
SGS Challenges

SGS is the very definition of a 21st Century global organization, with operations spanning five continents driving diverse business needs. Managing a company of such scale and offering the best quality services in the market, requires efficiency, agility, flexibility and innovation. And providing a high performance network to support global applications for every site in every country is as a consequence, very challenging.

Today, to provide a communications infrastructure underpinning the hundreds of IT applications and thousands of servers at the heart of such a dynamic, complex business, therefore means embracing “the Cloud”.

Uniformity and manageability have become the foundations of SGS’ IT strategy, irrespective of business line or geographic location. And the extensive exploitation of global Cloud is considered key in enabling the business to achieve the growth and profitability objectives of its business plans. So much so that SGS IT plans to migrate up to 80% of their local and regional IT servers to the Cloud, with 4/5th of network traffic by volume expected to become Internet based.

SGS is therefore readying itself for a Cloud-centric future.

A COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM TO ACCELERATE TO THE CLOUD

Despite its sheer size and complexity of operations, SGS’s journey to the Cloud is well underway with a reliable global network providing the foundation. The SGS network, provided by GCX since 2004, comprises managed hybrid WAN underlay connections to more than a thousand sites and a handful of data centers. This unique blend of high performance MPLS and cost-effective Internet underpins SGS’ activities whether business-as-usual operations or M&A activity.

SGS embarked on its journey to the Cloud in 2015 when the company began deploying Microsoft Office 365, connecting more than 80,000 users globally. Immediate benefits were gained through boosted communication and collaboration among its global workforce, as well as improved mobile accessibility worldwide. More recently, SGS began moving some of the company’s most business-critical applications to Amazon Web Services as well as migrating regional Data Centers to Microsoft Azure.

And in order to leverage the power and flexibility of these Cloud platforms, SGS uses CLOUD X Fusion, GCX’s Cloud connectivity solution.

Direct private connectivity into Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure has now been established for accessing SGS’ Cloud-hosted applications in Europe, North & South America, and Asia.

Thanks to GCX’s vast Cloud ecosystem, SGS benefit from AWS and Microsoft Azure already being “on-net”, accessed by simply opening a CLOUD X Fusion port on the SGS network. And what’s more, since SGS leverages its secure, private network, there is no need for duplicate infrastructure with expensive dedicated Cloud connections. CLOUD X Fusion creates a private extension to the existing SGS Global Network and overcomes performance and security challenges often associated with accessing public Cloud Services. With more than 20 other leading public platforms worldwide including Alibaba Cloud, Softlayer and SAP Cloud Platform connected to CLOUD X Fusion, SGS can realize its very own hybrid cloud environment with confidence, irrespective of which CSP they may want to use in the future.

“Access to leading Cloud Platforms has become very easy to us. Through CLOUD X Fusion, it is simply a matter of activating another connection on our existing network. GCX provides the flexibility, security and reliability required to continue with our Cloud-centric growth and profitability plan unhindered by connectivity concerns."

Christoph Heidler, CIO SGS
Benefits to SGS

Since 2004 GCX’s unique approach to solving SGS’ network, Cloud and security challenges has delivered a number of meaningful benefits:

  • GCX is a valued and trusted partner with a deep understanding of the SGS business globally, offering a range of solutions to help SGS achieve its strategic business targets
  • GCX’s uniquely flexible approach to connectivity sourcing enables SGS to scale operations swiftly and remain competitive in each market
  • SGS can continue its journey to the Cloud without concerns over the security of sensitive data, the unreliable performance of the Internet and potentially spiraling Cloud costs
    • Greater Security: Sensitive company data is transported to and from the public Cloud Platforms over the GCX managed WAN using secured, private MPLS or IPSec-encrypted Hybrid VPN connections
    • Reduced Cloud Costs: Cloud Service Providers charge lower data transfer rates when connecting to their data centers over GCX’s on-net private network rather than via the public Internet
    • Higher Performance: SGS’ critical business applications are now deployed on high availability Cloud infrastructure, connected directly to the SGS network
    • Ease of Management: SGS can simply open a CLOUD X Fusion port and connect to 20+ leading IaaS & SaaS CSPs without the need to wait
    • Global Availability: CLOUD X Fusion offers coverage with the world’s leading Cloud Services Providers connected in every region (Europe, AsiaPac and Americas)
Features of GCX Solution

Through CLOUD X Fusion, GCX provides a highly reliable, secure Cloud connectivity solution, leveraging the SGS global network, to further embrace its journey to the Cloud:

  • Private, secure and reliable connectivity into core business applications and processes, hosted in AWS’ Cloud platforms in Europe, Australia and Asia
  • Access to Microsoft Azure Data Centers in Europe, Americas and Asia
  • Hybrid WAN underlay network infrastructure as part of a Managed Global VPN with connectivity selected according to individual site needs

The solution is backed by an expert managed service

  • Single point of contact for all network, cloud and security related services regardless of the underlying network or cloud service provider at each location
  • End-to-end SLA covering all services
  • Fully consolidated billing across the network irrespective of the number of underlying providers
  • Performance transparency provided through O-zone, GCX’s real-time online service delivery performance and reporting portal
  • Active ongoing procurement process to continually identify most appropriate technologies and drive down cost

Today, to provide a communications infrastructure underpinning the hundreds of IT applications and thousands of servers at the heart of such a dynamic, complex business, means embracing “the Cloud”.

SGS WEBSITE

sgs.com

“By connecting to various Cloud data centers via GCX’s extensive, private hybrid MPLS network, we can access our key business-critical applications from remote sites through a secure connection, using an already existing MPLS link or secure IPSec tunnel. And what’s more, because we don’t need duplicate infrastructure, we can sweat our network investment for better financial return!”

 

Christoph Heidler, CIO SGS