ECI, a global provider of ELASTIC Network solutions for service providers, critical infrastructures and data center operators, and GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business, one of the leaders in advanced power system solutions, are collaborating on tailored offerings and extensive expertise to better serve the critical infrastructure industry.
This combination of products and services will provide customers with a more robust, end-to-end solution for their networking needs while allowing both parties to extend their already substantial industry footprints.
Utilities traditionally have managed their IT and OT networks as separate sub-networks. Over the years, however, various challenges required utilities to rethink their Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Creating heterogeneous networks that can harmonize and streamline previously siloed IT and OT operations is a critical factor for improving grid efficiency, reducing downtime, lowering operational costs, minimizing asset risks, and increasing customer satisfaction.
Moreover, it enables these utilities to deal with future higher capacity business requirements while preserving the security and dependability of critical and time-sensitive operation traffic with information assurance edge to edge.
“As utilities face new challenges and embrace new technologies, we understand just how critical it is to minimize disruption while modernizing. With an extensive background in the utility sector and robust product lines that complement our offerings, we feel ECI is a well-matched partner to our goals,” said Chris Trabold, product line leader and general manager of Industrial Communications at GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business. “With the joint product portfolio, we are even better equipped to address the networking needs of utilities around the globe, especially those organizations that are building or modernizing their ICT networks.”
The joint ECI and GE offering will provide customers with an end-to-end, unified networking solution for whichever technology they require: optical, MPLS-TP or IP/MPLS, or TDM. Through this collaboration, GE can scale its solutions with ECI’s Apollo optical family or Neptune family with Elastic MPLS, which supports both MPLS-TP and IP/MPLS on the same network element.
As part of a joint solution, ECI also will offer GE’s JunglePAX™ MPLS-TP solution to its global customers to address areas of critical communications requiring industrial hardened, fanless and optimized packet transport modes to critical OT application performance. Interoperability between the two product lines is already under way, with future differentiation planned. Moreover, customers will be able to combine ECI and GE maintenance agreements under one entity for first line support.
“The rise of ICT modernization and IT/OT convergence means more companies are seeking out adaptive, future-minded solutions to help meet their networking needs,” said Fernando Valdivielso, global vice president of Sales and Marketing at ECI. “ECI has been serving critical infrastructure customers around the globe for more than 50 years with our flexible technologies, and we believe this recent partnership with GE will allow us to work with a wide range of utility customers in new geographies. This is an exciting time for ECI and GE as we partner to bring solutions that help balance performance of existing assets with the inevitable network of the future.”