TIM: Transforming Italy’s digital infrastructure with Google Cloud

About TIM (Telecom Italia)

TIM is the leading group in Italy and Brazil in the ICT sector. With a strategic partnership with Google Cloud announced in March 2020, TIM is also a Google Cloud Premier Partner.

Industries: Technology
Location: Italy

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About Noovle SpA

Part of the TIM Group, Noovle SpA helps companies to create fast, agile, and scalable solutions in the cloud.

TIM is modernizing its IT infrastructure and adding new capabilities that aim to help close the digital divide between public institutions, commercial enterprises, and private citizens, using Google Cloud.

Google Cloud results

  • Enables faster adaptation to market needs with Compute Engine infrastructure
  • Reduces costs of app management with Google Kubernetes Engine
  • Improves scalability with Citrix Virtual Desktop workloads on Google Cloud

Migrates 6,600 internal workloads to Google Cloud

A digital revolution that promises to open a new chapter in human development is already underway. Cloud computing and other emerging technologies are transforming the way we connect, share information, and conduct business at a breathtaking pace. But turning these extraordinary changes into opportunities requires unprecedented levels of investment, innovation, and rejuvenation of existing infrastructures. The economic value to pioneers who are willing to adopt early is estimated to be $1.2 trillion collectively by 2030, according to a 2021 McKinsey report.

“It was crucial for us to find the right partner to drive our cloud transformation. We needed flexibility, scalability, and security, as well as continuous innovation and evolving expertise. Google Cloud fits the bill perfectly.”

Mauro Maccagnani, Head of Digital Enterprise Solutions, TIM

Among these pioneers is TIM, the leading group in Italy and Brazil in the ICT sector, which develops fixed, mobile, and cloud infrastructures and data centers and offers services and products for communications and entertainment, placing itself at the forefront of digital technologies. TIM is using cloud technology to close the digital divide between public institutions, commercial enterprises, and private citizens to provide innovative tools and services to all of its stakeholders.

After a year-long search for the right partner, TIM turned to Google Cloud. “It was crucial for us to find the right partner to drive our cloud transformation,” says Mauro Maccagnani, Head of Digital Enterprise Solutions at TIM. “We needed more flexibility, scalability, and security, as well as continuous innovation and evolving expertise. Google Cloud fits the bill perfectly.”

Modernizing infrastructure with Compute Engine

To help migrate its data and services to Google Cloud, TIM enlisted its cloud company, Noovle SpA. Noovle SpA first turned its attention to TIM’s infrastructure. On the hardware side, TIM decided to migrate just over a quarter (26%) of its private cloud solutions from on-premises data centers to Google Cloud, using Compute Engine to create and run virtual machines.

“Our first objective is to be fast in answering to the continuously changing market needs,” Maccagnani explains. “But keeping everything up to date requires a lot of effort and resources. Our cloud migration will lead to high responsiveness and cost savings. I’d advise anyone who is considering moving from on-prem to the cloud to do it as soon as possible.”

As part of these efforts, TIM Group is building new data centers, which will be the backbone infrastructure for two new Google Cloud regions in Italy. The project will enable TIM to further modernize its application architecture using Anthos.

“The ability of Google Kubernetes Engine to lift and shift old applications to be redesigned in a microservices architecture allows us to manage, monitor, scale-up, and control applications.”

Mauro Maccagnani, Head of Digital Enterprise Solutions, TIM

Scaling to meet demand with Kubernetes

An added benefit of this new Google Cloud-based approach is in the management of applications. In addition to a fragmented internal hardware infrastructure, TIM has a similar challenge when it comes to software. In order to save costs and boost efficiency, TIM has been working to consolidate these solutions in the cloud.

A key tool in this area is Google Kubernetes Engine, which has enabled TIM to gain better control over the huge number of applications used across the business. Maccagnani says: “The ability of Google Kubernetes Engine to lift and shift old applications to be redesigned in a microservices architecture allows us to manage, monitor, scale up, and control applications.”

“Running Citrix Virtual Desktop on Google Cloud frees us from the constraints of physical hardware, while providing the operating systems, applications, and information we need, when we need it.”

Mauro Maccagnani, Head of Digital Enterprise Solutions, TIM

Adapting to change with virtual desktops

The move to Google Cloud has also enabled TIM to better leverage its existing relationship with Citrix, a leading provider of virtual desktop infrastructure. TIM first partnered with Citrix in 2010 to explore desktop virtualization. Google and Citrix have also been working together for more than a decade to provide a robust experience in this area. With so many courses running worldwide, hosting Citrix Virtual Desktop on Google Cloud offers a much more sustainable use of their training budget and the flexibility needed to grow and provide every employee with the training they need when they need it. TIM uses Citrix Virtual Desktop running on Google Cloud as a flexible solution to the challenges of shifting demands on internal infrastructure.

Both companies' commitment to remaining at the forefront of security technologies was an added attraction for TIM, Maccagnani says. “We have a business that’s always changing,” he adds, “so we need an infrastructure that can adapt accordingly. Running Citrix Virtual Desktop on Google Cloud frees us from the constraints of physical hardware, while providing the operating systems, applications, and information we need, when we need it.”

“This partnership has raised the bar. It has enabled TIM to work more effectively with its business customers, and also led to a wider change in the culture.”

Mauro Maccagnani, Head of Digital Enterprise Solutions, TIM

Providing training with the TIM Academy

One project that’s making use of this setup is the TIM Academy. TIM invests heavily in training, and this web-based learning platform offers employees and business partners across the world dedicated temporary environments in which to train on specific topics. Under the previous on-premises static setup, the cost of running TIM Academy was the same whether hundreds of people were attending the same course simultaneously, or hundreds of people were attending different courses individually.

TIM decided to migrate their Citrix Virtual Desktop workloads to Google Cloud in order to automatically scale up TIM Academy to meet the company’s shifting needs and scale down to save on cost when desktops are no longer needed. Maccagnani adds: “We ran a proof of concept at the beginning to be sure that it was the right solution for this project. And, once we had all of the components in place, the project was delivered in a couple of months.”

Looking to the future

TIM’s partnership with Google Cloud has had a number of positive impacts that will continue to be felt for years to come, Maccagnani says. “This partnership has raised the bar. It has enabled TIM to work more effectively with its business customers, and also led to a wider change in the culture.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About TIM (Telecom Italia)

TIM is the leading group in Italy and Brazil in the ICT sector. With a strategic partnership with Google Cloud announced in March 2020, TIM is also a Google Cloud Premier Partner.

Industries: Technology
Location: Italy

About Noovle SpA

Part of the TIM Group, Noovle SpA helps companies to create fast, agile, and scalable solutions in the cloud.