Outsourcing provider transforms business model


5 Oct 2010

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Italian firm Tele Sistemi Ferroviari (TSF) adopts Cisco Data Centre 3.0 vision to create new, on-demand cloud services.

TSF is one of the leading providers of ICT services to the transport and logistics industries in Italy. TSF’s goal was to build on a period of strong business growth, while reducing its dependency on one revenue source in order to minimise risk. The company aimed to win new business from existing customers and reach new customers in different industries.

To achieve this, the company would have to adopt a new business model and transform its IT infrastructure from a cost centre into a revenue generator. Being able to respond to customers’ needs more quickly and cost effectively was an urgent priority. Previously, TSF would buy new, dedicated hardware for each project, an approach that was no longer flexible enough; for example, it took about a week to provision a new service.

Using this traditional model, TSF had built up five separate data centres. As a result, TSF would continue buying more devices until a data centre was full and then open a new facility, which increased complexity and costs.

TSF envisaged a virtualised data centre where resources could be allocated to projects from a consolidated ‘pool’ in a flexible and scalable manner.

Consolidation, virtualisation and automation

TSF decided that it could best achieve its goals by using Cisco Data Centre 3.0™ architectures and technologies, which provides a roadmap for transforming infrastructure through the data centre in three key phases: consolidation, virtualisation, and automation.

TSF developed a model based on a large, powerful core linked to smaller pods. TSF’s design was based on the ability to unify storage, computing, and networking capabilities within these pods and provide an integrated, consistent interface-abilities that are inherent to Cisco Data Centre 3.0.

The Cisco team worked closely with TSF to help the company develop its data centre vision and architecture, and then deploy the solutions that would realise the vision.

Building a completely different type of data centre has enabled TSF to achieve its objective of changing its business model. The company has developed a brand new portfolio, based on selling Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which includes services such as internet connectivity, storage, archiving and back-up, and virtual computing power.

Having invested in a scalable and agile architecture, the company is now in a position to grow its business at minimal extra costs as TSF.

TSF will continue to develop its business and its infrastructure in parallel, starting with a massive project to virtualise 70 to 75pc of the company’s servers.

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