As we are internationally active in 14 languages, the introduction of IT systems and the harmonized IT infrastructure and subsequent support is a major challenge. Synergies from identical landscapes can only help. However, this requires a correspondingly high level of process governance in order to be able to ensure that, on the one hand, we are quick during implementation and, on the other hand, can actually provide good support. This is a task that logically encounters not only linguistic but also cultural challenges. In the background, it is also about transparency for us in our corporate IT. That is why governance is a major issue for us, and one that we pay great attention to.
At this point we are still in development and far from finished. Together with T-Systems, we have introduced the first tools with access to central control and monitoring tools. This is transparency that we also pass on to the plants. This means that questions such as “What’s currently going on in my network? – What is currently troublesome or not running as well?” can be answered quickly. This is the only way you can coordinate and initiate countermeasures if necessary. In essence, it’s always about optimization possibilities and – not to forget – the topic of security. Here, too, we have taken measures in order to be able to offer a better degree of security.
For example, by bringing T-Systems ’Security Operations Center’ (SOC) on board. This is a step that we expect will bring more transparency back. For example, when it comes to possible viruses, malware, spam mails and the like. We actually experience such events on a daily basis and must then be able to get rid of them as quickly as possible. In this respect, the operational SOC we have been using since the fall of last year is a weapon we want to use to become more resistant to attacks throughout the coporation. So today we relatively quickly detect a security threat. At the same time, we are constantly working withT-Systems on new use cases, which we process and refine in order to be able to cover new threat scenarios.
It is fast if, for example, the monitoring systems report a virus attack to the SOC and automatically generate information for our security units from there. We are talking about minutes here. The employees analyze the events and can react promptly. In the end, of course, it is always a person who has to take an action or measure. But according to our previous experience, both the recognition and the initiation of a measure takes place promptly.
We don’t have that level yet, but I have to say: We don’t want that yet. I first need confidence in the software and the control options. That still has to grow before a system comes up with the idea, “I take a plant with a paper machine offline because a virus attack is reported there,” and then the whole thing turns out to be a false alarm. It’s okay in the first step for the system to point out and actively alert you: ‘We have aproblem here’ and then take action. So it’s up to us to react quickly. However, I expect this process to be automated in the long term with countermeasures that always run the same way.
Exactly. It has to run reliably. This is an evolutionary, step-by-step process, which we will of course refine further. It is the case that new insights emerge with monitoring. Unfortunately, security threats are very creative and of increasing diversity. Everyone must continue to grow and learn together: the system, the service, us as the customer, and T-Systems as our partner.
There are actually two reasons why we went in the direction of an intelligent SD-WAN. On the one hand, it is a fact that data traffic on our WAN lines has increased linearly. In this respect, it is in line with the usual trend of digitization to require more and more bandwidth. Because we used to have a very centrally built network and the locations had no Internet access of their own but had to go centrally via the IT center, even the normal Internet load logically leads to a corresponding increase in bandwidth requirements. At the end of the day, the demand for throughput and speed is constantly increasing, the IT systems tend to be too slow, no matter how fast the bandwidth is expanded.
SD-WAN technology gives us the opportunity to combine two things. On the one hand, to enable local Internet breakout and still remain on the safe side in terms of security, and, of course, using Internet access instead of MPLS access for bandwidth expansion which at the same time leads directly to savings. Our calculation is quite simply as follows: cost reduction plus faster response time equals win-win. The first attempts – the transition is still ongoing – already seem to confirm this. The proof-of-concept will follow as soon as we have converted all outstations and plants to SD-WAN technology.
For us, the private cloud is a familiar environment in which we can travel safely and on which we will continue to build in the near future. I don’t see any need to deviate radically from this at the moment. The fact is, however, that there are more and more occasions or needs but also opportunities to use non-private cloud solutions. If these seem safe to us, we use them. We have some solutions already in the implementation phase and run them parallel to our private cloud. I see this as a growth area for the next few years.
That’s difficult to answer, but there is one general thing I am convinced of. The digitization share of the products will increase. That applies to everyone and it also applies to the packaging industry. This means that digitization will not only become more and more important in production, but will sooner or later also be incorporated into the product.
After all, your products already have a value in terms of raw materials and sustainable use.The Prinzhorn Group with its three divisions, is working intensively on the issue of increased internal value creation. We are starting with recycling. There we collect waste paper and waste cardboard to produce new raw materials. These are then processed into new corrugated base paper in the first step and then into corrugated packaging in the second step. A growing proportion of these are later returned to the container, the contents of which we recycle again, and the process starts all over again. Ideally a product life cycle in perpetual motion, if you like. If new technologies show that they can help us, we will use them. There is no question about that. For reasons of sustainability, as well as for our customers and their customers.
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