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.

In today’s environment, to provide a communications infrastructure comprising hundreds of IT applications and thousands of servers to underpin 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 bypassing the public Internet
  • Higher performance Cloud apps: User productivity is improved through more consistent application performance thanks to greater reliability of connectivity
  • 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’ Cloud-related network costs can be contained thanks to reduced data transfer charges from CSPs while there’s also no need for duplicate infrastructure
GCX PRODUCT & SERVICES
  • Cloud X Fusion
    • Private, secure and reliable cloud connectivity solution to leading pubic cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Softlayer, Alibaba Cloud, SAP Cloud Platform and many others worldwide
  • Managed Global VPN
    • Fully-integrated GCX & 3rd party MPLS
    • Hybrid Internet VPN for reliable back-up services
    • End-to-end Managed Service & SLAs
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 communications infrastructure to support global applications for every site in every country is therefore very challenging.

In today’s environment, to provide a communications infrastructure comprising hundreds of IT applications and thousands of servers to underpin such a dynamic, complex business, means embracing “the Cloud”.

Uniformity and manageability of environment, irrespective of business line or geographic location, have become the foundations of SGS’ IT strategy, with the extensive exploitation of global Cloud 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 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 communications platform providing the foundation. The SGS global network, provided by GCX since 2004, comprises managed connectivity to more than a thousand remote sites and a handful of data centers via local / regional Internet or MPLS circuits to a high performance global MPLS backbone. This unique blend of performance connectivity, cost-efficiency and network flexibility 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 taking a new approach to application deployment with Microsoft Office 365, connecting more than 80.000 users globally, thereby helping boost communication and collaboration among its global workforce, as well as improving mobile accessibility worldwide. More recently, the solution has evolved further with SGS moving some of the company’s most business-critical applications to Amazon Web Services as well as migrating and transforming 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.

As part of the SGS Cloud strategy, direct and private connectivity into Amazon Web Services’ Cloud platform and Microsoft Azure has been established for locations in Europe, North & South America and Asia to access and host SGS’ business applications.

Thanks to GCX’s Cloud ecosystem, SGS benefitted from AWS and Microsoft Azure already being on-net for the SGS network, accessed by simply opening a CLOUD X Fusion port. And what’s more, since SGS is leveraging its secure, private corporate network, there is no need for duplicate infrastructure with expensive local access circuits. CLOUD X Fusion creates a private extension to the existing SGS Global Network and removes the negative aspects associated with public Cloud Service Provider access. With more than 20 other leading public platforms worldwide including Alibaba Cloud, Softlayer and SAP Cloud Platform connected to GCX’s CLOUD X ecosystem, SGS can realize its very own hybrid cloud environment with confidence, irrespective of which CSP they 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 has become 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: By moving to the Cloud disadvantages associated with dedicated local servers have been removed, enabling high availability access required by some of the SGS’ most business critical applications
    • 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 SGS 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
  • Underlying network infrastructure selected according to individual site needs
    • Managed Global VPN
    • Hybrid VPN secured with IPSec encryption

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

In today’s environment, to provide a communications infrastructure comprising hundreds of IT applications and thousands of servers to underpin 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