Flavio Losurdo, Head IT Operation Services
Implenia intends to drive forward the digital transformation with its “Cloud First” strategy. It was the first construction and real estate company in Europe to completely move its applications to the Azure cloud. Swisscom is responsible for ensuring that things run smoothly – the new cloud platform was set up by its subsidiary itnetX.
Thousands of construction sites and projects in Switzerland and Europe, 170 office locations, 126 applications and numerous business services: Implenia’s IT department has a mighty job to do. The company’s IT department employs around 100 people, who are primarily involved in business-related tasks and further development, says Flavio Losurdo. “This is why we outsource commodities as far as possible,” says Implenia’s Head of IT Operation Services. “This includes all the basic operations of our new productive cloud platform.”
Implenia relies on Swisscom’s managed service team to ensure that the cloud platform is kept running securely and reliably. Swisscom’s cloud specialists take over routine tasks from Implenia’s IT team so that they can concentrate on other jobs which are more relevant to the business. Handing over operational responsibility wasn’t easy, says Flavio Losurdo. “We were worried about delegating cloud operations.” Was it really going to work? Though thanks to regular and open exchange, it went surprisingly well.” This has made a noticeable difference for Losurdo’s IT team, because Swisscom is also taking on tasks that it simply could not handle such as 24/7 monitoring. He appreciates the professional exchange with Swisscom specialists. “Azure is big and offers a wide range of services. Are we on the right track? What else can we do better? We get a lot of answers from Swisscom here within the framework of architecture reviews, which help us to move forward. They often give us pro-active advice as well, for example on how we can source our workloads more cost-effectively.”
The Azure public cloud puts Implenia in pole position in terms of future prospects. It enables data to be aggregated efficiently for upcoming IoT and data analytics applications. “Data from all construction machines will be consolidated on the central Azure platform – which will help us to use it more productively,” says Flavio Losurdo by way of example. “Or we can use data analytics to optimise our purchasing processes or better assess project risks. The cloud solution – with managed services from Swisscom – forms the powerful basis of 'Data-driven Implenia’.”
Though now let’s take it one step at a time. A number of steps needed to be completed before Implenia’s IT could run on the Azure cloud. Implenia embarked on the “Journey to the Cloud” together with the Swisscom subsidiary itnetX. With this specially developed framework, itnetX initially supported its discerning customer in planning, building and implementing a solid cloud foundation. It then helped Implenia to migrate its business applications to the Azure cloud. Flavio Losurdo adds: “This journey has definitely been challenging.
“We get answers from Swisscom that help us to move forward.”
Flavio Losurdo, Head IT Operation Services, Implenia Schweiz AG
We appreciated the clear project organisation of our partner and its structured and proactive approach. The speed of the planning and implementation was definitely right. Another important point is that itnetX had the good sense to talk to the right people at our company.”
Does the new cloud platform deliver what it promises? Flavio Losurdo takes a look back: “Even during the transition phase we were able to get rid of some of the burden. We moved our three data centres to the Azure public cloud, which eliminated a whole bunch of legacy applications and reduced our number of databases to a third.” Losurdo cites meetings held on the site as an example of how the new system is used in everyday life: “Our specialists on site effortlessly access the data they need via the Azure Virtual Desktop. This has made the more cumbersome peers enterprise network obsolete. Even extremely data-intensive CAD applications run really smoothly. We used to need high-end laptops for this, but now standard devices are enough.” Flavio Losurdo also sees the benefits that Implenia is aiming for on a higher level by moving to the cloud. “We installed everything on a single consolidated platform. It impresses with its high flexibility, more power is available practically at the click of a button and in the pay-per-use model. We integrate new applications easily.”