Atos achieves
cost savings
with its digital
and Versa Secure

  • Introduction

  • Atos is a global leader in the digital transformation industry, with 112,000 employees and annual revenue of approximately 11 billion euros. Headquartered in France, this European firm delivers best-in-class cyber security as well as cloud and high-performance computing. Atos offers a vast portfolio of solutions—including cybersecurity services, data analytics, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, automation and the Internet of Things—in addition to its consulting services. With worldwide operations, Atos provides tailored end-to-end solutions for virtually all industries in 71 countries.

    As Atos was providing its customers with digital and consulting services, the company realized it needed a digital transformation of its own to support future growth.

  • Atos logo

  • Overcoming the challenges of digital transformation on a global scale

  • Atos needed to transform more than 230 locations—including 12 remote overseas sites—using software-defined wide-area networking (SD WAN) to help better prepare for the future. When Atos began to look at how it can support its own future growth, the company considered how it had recently transitioned its enterprise resource planning system to the cloud with many other SaaS expert solutions and was ready to also move its workplace services to a fully cloud based model.

    Before long, Atos also started to contemplate using an entirely cloud-based service to offer secure guest network access. Atos' global workforce would rely on these essential cloud services to remain productive, and that would only be possible with a robust network infrastructure. SD WAN could allow the Atos IT team to ensure the high standard of network performance it expected.

    Atos also wanted to be able to use local internet providers to improve network performance, maximize vendor choice and reduce costs. "We wanted the increased flexibility that an SD WAN network can provide. It's difficult to find a supplier who can really deliver consistently worldwide, so we wanted that flexibility to be able to pick and choose and then overlay an SD WAN solution on top," said Damian Mudge, Head of IT, Network, Atos. "This new architecture gave us a bit more freedom in terms of the underlay. The cost savings were quite significant."

    "Previously, we had a single provider worldwide, but they couldn't give us the flexibility of an SD WAN architecture that we wanted," explained Mudge. "They were not as ready as Verizon was to take us to the next stage of a more flexible architecture, and they just couldn't take us forward to the future as quickly as we wanted."

    Having worked extensively with Verizon in the past, Atos knew Verizon would bring considerable networking expertise to bear on the project and that it would be a strong partner in completing the SD WAN rollout. "Verizon looks like a very attractive package compared to some of the competition," said Mudge. "For me, the most important thing is knowing your partners have your back, so you can have your customers' backs. That's invaluable." With these advantages in mind, Atos selected Verizon to see its global SD WAN initiative through to completion.

  • Atos business headquarters
    • Damian Mudge, Head of IT, Network, Atos

    • Beginning quotation mark  Verizon looks like a very attractive package compared to some of the competition. For me, the most important thing is knowing your partners have your back, so you can have your customers' backs. That's invaluable.”

      Damian Mudge, Head of IT, Network, Atos

    • Achieving rapid and cost-effective digital transformation with Verizon and Versa SD WAN

    • Verizon proposed an innovative Versa Secure SD WAN solution to digitally transform over 230 sites in total: including roughly 160 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region; 25 sites in the U.K. and Ireland (UKI); nearly 30 sites in North and Latin America (NORAM/LATAM); and over 30 sites in the Asia Pacific and Latin America (APAC/LATAM). To date, Verizon and Atos have deployed Versa SD WAN at more than 220 of these locations—including 12 extremely remote sites. With SD WAN's flexibility, Atos can now leverage a full complement of cloud services to meet its evolving needs.

      For example, Atos recently deployed Cloudi-Fi, a 100% cloud-based service, to implement guest internet services with a zero trust security strategy. "Working with Verizon at over 220 sites and counting, we seamlessly integrated Cloudi-Fi with Versa secure SD WAN to achieve a secure and cost-effective global implementation... We used to have a legacy on-premises service. It was clunky, it was cumbersome. With our SD WAN solution, it's been very easy to deploy," said Mudge.

      The Atos IT team also uses SD WAN to carry out its responsibilities more effectively. "Originally, we had a traditional on-premises workplace, where you had to go to an office and build your machine and everything was managed there," Mudge explained. "We moved to a cloud-based service that allows us to provision machines from the office and/or remotely. All of that now goes out through the local internet breakout, so it's more efficient for us." Mudge noted that this method is also more cost-effective because it allows Atos to use these local breakouts instead of "relying on expensive, multiprotocol label switch circuits."

    • Beginning quotation mark  We are transforming the network at over 230 locations in more than 50 different countries. By switching to the new SD WAN infrastructure we will achieve 25-30% cost reduction compared to our previous WAN solution.”

      Damian Mudge, Head of IT, Network, Atos

    • Cost reductions and a steadfast rollout

    • “We are transforming the network at over 230 locations in more than 50 different countries.  By switching to the new SD WAN infrastructure we will achieve 25-30% cost reduction compared to our previous WAN solution, said Mudge. “Through strong collaboration we were able to achieve all of this despite the challenges presented, including the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions, lockdowns, and the production delays of hardware arising from the global semiconductor shortage, etc.  However, where there is a will there's a way, and together we found a way.  In all, this is a project that has been delivered much more quickly than previous projects of a similar scope.”

      Improved network redundancy and performance

      Mudge and his team have also observed a marked improvement in network performance since partnering with Verizon to deploy Versa Secure SD WAN. "We have had far fewer major incidents and outages on the new service compared to the old one," he said. "Whereas we used to have a couple of incidents every week, there have been times during this year where we've had no site outages for several weeks, sometimes months." Network resiliency and redundancy are achieved by having separate Verizon networks for primary and backup reliable network connectivity.

      Achieving a remote workforce while improving on-site connectivity

      By leveraging SD WAN to modernize its IT services in this way, Atos can give its employees a better experience. Also, since a large portion of the workforce was working remotely throughout the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atos IT team was able to make these improvements without introducing too many disruptions. "We're telling it all as one story of improving the office network for people and saying, 'Look, we've been busy while you were working at home,'" explained Mudge.

      Atos employees have already begun sharing positive feedback with the IT team. "We conduct an annual end-user satisfaction survey on the different aspects of IT," Mudge said. "For the last couple of years, we didn't really ask that much about the office network because they were working from home. But we did ask them at the beginning of this year, and for the first time, we had a much higher score than we'd had in previous years. It was clear that they recognized, region by region without exception, that there had been an improvement in the office network when it came to things like the guest network."

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    • Building a strong foundation for future growth

    • Now that Atos has a clear path to complete its SD WAN rollout, the company aims to finish as many sites as possible at the same rapid pace they have accomplished with Verizon. Considering the significant challenges the pandemic posed, Mudge views this as a remarkable achievement. "We're on track to finish this much faster than any previous project, and I think that's mainly due to the strength of the collaboration and working relationship between our two organizations," he said. With a flexible network architecture and a strong relationship with Verizon in place, Atos has the strong foundation it needs to ensure a bright future of continued business growth.

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