Fortinet has announced that Emirates National Oil Company Limited (ENOC), a wholly owned company of the Government of Dubai, has chosen Fortinet Secure SD-WAN to transform customer experience and increase operational efficiency.
Established as a local oil and gas company in 1993, ENOC has grown to become a leading global player operating across the entire energy value chain. Today, ENOC is committed to economic diversification and sustainable development. The group now comprises more than 30 related subsidiaries spanning refining, lubricant blending, storage, aviation, and retail. To serve its many thousands of customers across 60 global markets, the organization employs over 9,000 staff in more than 400 separate locations.
Supporting the ongoing business operations of an organization of this scale requires fast, secure, and reliable companywide access to an increasing number of diverse IT applications and services running both in-house and in the cloud. Until 2021, this access had been provided for ENOC via a managed networking service based on MPLS, configured in a typical hub and spoke architecture in which the entirety of each branch’s external traffic passed through a single link to the central data center.
In 2021, ENOC committed to an AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham) 250 million investment plan for a digital transformation strategy focused on placing the customer at the center of the business and enhancing their overall service experience. As more of the group’s critical applications and services moved to the cloud, the unnecessary backhauling of this traffic through the data center was impacting user response times, decreasing efficiency, and ultimately limiting the level of service provided to ENOC’s customers. In addition, without back-up connectivity to the branches, occasional but inevitable link failures were leading to unacceptable downtime windows, degrading customer service, and consuming valuable time and resources of the IT department.
Security was clearly a major concern. To keep pace with the evolving threat of cybercrime, additional protection measures such as data encryption were needed to be layered on top of the existing infrastructure, adding expense, and further reducing performance.
Mohammed Al Rais, CIO, Emirates National Oil Company said, “We needed a faster, more resilient infrastructure with deeply embedded advanced security. We also needed to do this within budget and without increasing management complexity. There were several product combinations that might have met most of the technical feature requirements on our list, but only Fortinet had the deep integration to create a single, secure, and manageable SD-WAN infrastructure.”
After evaluating a shortlist of potential suppliers, ENOC chose the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution based on the FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW), to preserve the privacy of ENOC’s private MPLS network, while enabling faster, lower-cost internet, and direct cloud access at each of the 400+ remote sites. For ease of management, FortiManager was deployed to provide single-pane-of-glass visibility and control over the entire infrastructure. With this, ENOC benefits from less complexity and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). FortiAnalyzer was added for its action-oriented analytics, and its drill-down reporting around web traffic, applications, users, and threats to ease the burden of regulatory compliance.
“By reducing dependency on MPLS, we have substantially reduced the associated service fees,” added Al Rais. “When you combine this with the reduced management overhead achieved by convergence, it equates to an approximate 55% cost savings over the previous solution. Before, customers sometimes had to wait about 60 seconds for ENOC Pay transactions to be processed. With the new scenario, it is now less than 10 seconds—something that would have been impossible with the old network.”
Overall, Fortinet Secure SD-WAN has enabled ENOC to better protect its reputation and assets through strengthened security controls, laying the foundation for continued revenue growth through increased operational efficiency and enhanced customer service levels. With increased network reliability, lower latency, and speed and performance having increased by a factor of four, ENOC has already been able to transform the customer service experience at its vast network of filling stations.
“Fortinet is relentlessly committed to innovation, through which we design solutions to address challenges that companies face in today’s expanding networks,” said John Maddison, EVP of Products and CMO at Fortinet. “We are pleased that ENOC is achieving its ROI and business acceleration goals. This is a demonstration that Fortinet meets the needs of organizations looking to enable digital transformation. This is possible only because Fortinet has converged critical security and network functions into a single and expansive platform.”