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Suzano empowers teams to access data and improve the use of cloud technology

About Suzano

Suzano is the largest eucalyptus cellulose producer and a global benchmark in the sustainable use of natural resources. As the company is among the top paper manufacturers in Latin America and it exports its products to over 100 countries, it is present in the lives of billions of people.

Industries: Manufacturing
Location: Brazil

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The company simplified its decision-making process, strengthened its Data Science Academy, and implemented several projects on industrial processes with Google Cloud.

Google Cloud results

  • Flexibility, scalability, and cost reduction
  • Data and information democratization among employees
  • App development using Cloud Functions and Cloud Run
  • Better work models for several industrial projects
  • Over 1M data on plants ingested daily in a control tower

Enhanced data-driven decision-making

Suzano is the largest eucalyptus cellulose manufacturer in the world and one of the top paper companies in Latin America. The organization serves over two billion consumers and it operates 11 factories in Brazil. It has been considered a benchmark company in implementing sustainable and innovative solutions using renewable energy sources.

With a history of 98 years and an installed capacity of 10.9 million tons of cellulose in the market and 1.4 million tons of paper per year, Suzano exports its production to over 100 countries.

A few years ago, aware of the importance of investing in technology to enhance processes, Suzano's leadership identified the need to start leveraging artificial intelligence, design thinking, and other concepts that may benefit the business. To make this happen, the IT team joined forces with the digital transformation team and created a new department: Digital Tech.

During this process, the company acknowledged the need for a change in infrastructure. Suzano had previously relied on the services of another cloud provider. The main aim of using an alternative was to consolidate the company's data lake into a single platform and increasingly democratize access to data, which is essential for the digital transformation process.

"We believe that choosing Google Cloud as the foundation for Suzano's data lake will enable us to further progress on our journey every year and help us become a benchmark company in Brazil for data-driven culture," explains Terry Laundos Aguiar, Architecture Manager at Suzano.

Designing a new data architecture

The team's expectations about moving to Google Cloud included boosting integration between tools, facilitating access to users, applying machine-learning techniques, and making resource use more flexible. All have been met.

The company began noticing changes in January 2021, when the migration had just started. In only one month, Suzano had already developed a basic infrastructure and managed to ingest the first databases, with easy-to-scale resources.

"One of the many advantages was that Google Cloud worked differently, with flexibility, providing us with scale and savings. Paying only for what we use is strategically beneficial."

Leandro Gomes Gouveia, Integration and Data Architecture, Suzano

Data lake architecture now involves data ingestion through a Python integrator, which has been developed internally. This integrator runs on Cloud Functions or Dataproc, depending on the data volume.

At first, data is stored in raw format in Cloud Storage, and it is later assigned and relocated into BigQuery, where it becomes fully available to users. All these processes are orchestrated via Cloud Composer.

After a while, reporting became far more agile, and the company can now have data available in real time and extract it from a single place. Therefore, building dashboards for analysis does not take as long, and the interpretation of this data is validated by the working teams' knowledge.

The importance of the Data Science Academy

Since 2021, the company has increasingly used Google Cloud, obtaining benefits within a context of constant evolution. One of these benefits is higher autonomy for users in terms of data access and use for their projects.

Training employees in all IT-related aspects was critical. Data foundation is based on BigQuery, which is why professionals need to understand how solutions are used in the most beneficial way, so that digital transformation continues to make an impact.

To support the usability of solutions in a smart manner, Suzano created the Data Science Academy, which fosters knowledge decentralization. This initiative provides internal classrooms produced by the Architecture, Engineering, and Data Science team.

Apart from content, the Academy also uses Google Cloud as a basis to develop solutions fast with Streamlit, an open-source Python library. The aim is to support machine-learning and artificial intelligence teams in creating and sharing customized web apps.

"By using Cloud Functions and Cloud Run, teams can create apps and scale as needed, as well as conduct tests. Most importantly, all this occurs with no complexity at all."

Nathan Caressato, Digital Academy Leader, Suzano

Creating a functional app can now take under 40 minutes, which was out of the question before. Easier and more intuitive access to data also enables professionals not only to read information, but also to store the results of models, prototypes, and recommendations in databases.

Following this data-sharing philosophy, teams at Suzano tend to use the expression "tech empowerment." Democratizing and decentralizing data and IT tools is enabled by Google Cloud and by the expertise gained from the Data Academy. Everybody wins: employees and the business.

Industrial benefits

The new data architecture has also positively impacted the company's industrial and forestry processes. This included creating a control tower where over one million data related to plant activities is ingested daily in Google Cloud. The company also implemented a freight intelligence project.

"I've worked on a freight intelligence project using a large spreadsheet for calculation, where a lot of information was collected manually. During this process, we discovered that there is an API to streamline it, using Cloud Functions and BigQuery," explains Suzano’s Digital Academy Leader.

"We've now freed teams from the operational burden and provided them with facilitating resources. We've helped them actually be empowered by technology, making their daily lives easier and delivering results to the business. All this is brought by knowledge decentralization and technology use," he explains.

Freight-related issues were also facilitated by a simulator based on Google Cloud. This tool finds the best way to adjust products within containers, aimed at transporting higher loads on each journey. This and other projects bring several advantages, including cost and time savings and the enhancement of work routines.

"We've made significant changes through Google Cloud, such as integrations, computing speed, affordable costs, and security. Collecting and storing a large volume of data paved the way to generate critical insights and empower teams in decision-making processes."

Terry Laundos Aguiar, Architecture Manager, Suzano

In this scenario, Suzano aims to be recognized as a data-driven company in Brazil. This is why the company invests in user training around technology and also in expanding the use of cloud technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to make even more progress on its digital transformation journey.

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About Suzano

Suzano is the largest eucalyptus cellulose producer and a global benchmark in the sustainable use of natural resources. As the company is among the top paper manufacturers in Latin America and it exports its products to over 100 countries, it is present in the lives of billions of people.

Industries: Manufacturing
Location: Brazil