Essilor International is a multinational company that is present in over 100 countries. It operates in the ophthalmic lens market and manufactures the Varilux multifocal lens.
The company turns over approximately 3.9 billion Euros in business volume, with net profits of 462 million Euros. It has around 43,000 employees worldwide, of which 2,500 are in Brazil. Essilor International has 14 factories and is responsible for over 25 percent of the global lens market in terms of production volume.
The Essilor Group also produces and sells optical instruments, such as machines for cutting finished lenses and for taking the personal measurements necessary for manufacturing lenses. This product range represents five percent of the Group’s business volume.
It is 8th in its sector and 70th overall in the Global Top 100 Most Sustainable Companies. In Brazil, for example, all the water consumed in running the factory, which is in Manaus, is abstracted from two Artesian wells by the company itself.
Essilor da Amazônia also carries out other environmental awareness operations, such as offering educational talks to employees, visitors and the low income community in the region.
Operating in the ophthalmic lenses segment with the goal to ensure data security and standardize the platform security of the corporation, Essilor Brazil—part of Essilor International Group—adopted Palo Alto Networks technology and implemented 10 next-generation firewalls—four in Brazilian units (two in São Paulo and two in Rio de Janeiro), and six in other Latin American offices, standardizing the data protection environment in the region.
Interested in integrating the infrastructure of security services (Firewall, VPN, Content Filtering), Essilor Brazil kicked off the process to implement Palo Alto Networks firewalls in 2011, when the IT staff of the Brazilian subsidiary participated in the event “ISS—Infrastructure Shared Service 2011”—held annually by the IT team from the company’s headquarters, in France—and received the recommendation to adopt the solution.
According to Daniel Saboia, ISS manager at Essilor for Latin America, each country had a scenario and they were starting a movement to have a global solution, which is standard worldwide, bringing, among other benefits, greater mobility for the executives who travel around the world constantly. Thus, regardless of where the executive is, local rules concerning security and access policies remain intact with only one credential. And the Palo Alto Networks solution allows that.
However, as the multinational merely recommended the solution (without requiring it to be installed immediately), Saboia’s team decided to wait until Palo Alto Networks had started its operations in Brazil before starting a proof of concept (POC). “It was not feasible financially for the company to buy abroad—because of the taxes,” Saboia says.
In 2012, the Californian company started to operate in the South-American country and Essilor Brasil arrived at the decision to install Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls after a comparative test involving the solution they already had and two other manufacturers, besides Palo Alto Networks. The final results of the comparison met the aim to follow the recommendation issued by the multinational’s headquarters. “We compared investment, expenses, support, local skills, and technical characteristics (analyzing the application, integration, administration, performance, etc.), amongst a series of other requirements,” he adds.
According to Saboia, in price terms, Palo Alto Networks was virtually tied with one of the providers, but ultimately won the project due to its analytical technology, global mobility resources and management solution. “Security policies—both from the local offices and the headquarters – are adhered to due to the fact that Brazil joined a platform that was already being used by other countries. After the implementation in Brazil, we began to standardize other countries in Latin America. Nowadays, the Latam region is served by the Palo Alto Networks solution, recommended by Essilor’s ‘ISS IT Standards’,” Saboia explains.
The decrease in spending on upgrading internal link and Internet—is because the Palo Alto Networks solution identifies and controls applications on any port, not just the standard ports and protocols—is highlighted by Essilor Brazil ISS manager. “This enabled the security policy of the company to become effective and—with a healthier traffic network—bandwidth consumption decreased. For two years we have not needed to upgrade the Internet,” he explains. What was saved by that has helped them achieve return on investment (ROI) in 24 months.
Saboia also emphasized that, besides saving space and energy, the unification of the platform (two Palo Alto Networks high availability appliances, instead of six pieces of equipment from different providers) has reduced the number of calls for technical support by 50 percent due to the unified network management, leaving IT staff free to work on other activities. “Instead of having a maintenance contract for each component, as we had before the installation of Palo Alto Networks platform, now Essilor Brazil has only one,” Saboia says.
PALO ALTO NETWORKS SUPPORT: A SATISFIED CUSTOMER
Ten Sistemas e Redes was responsible for the sale and implementation of web-filtering functionality; Proof performed the migration of the firewall, the optimization of web-filtering rules and configuring high availability. “Our greatest challenge was to migrate the VPN, however all the adjustments during the implementation stage were immediately supported by Palo Alto Networks,” Saboia says.
This Case Study is available in Portuguese.