China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC) hired Nokia’s Nuage Networks to deploy Nuage’s virtualized service platform (VSP) in two data centers. The insurance company wants to use the software-defined networking (SDN) technology to integrate its IT systems into a unified private cloud and to build a test cloud for internal research and development.

Nokia proclaimed the deal as a “breakthrough contract, won via Nokia Shanghai Bell.” Charles Ferland, Nuage’s VP of business development, said Nokia Shanghai Bell is “the legal entity under which we operate in China. It was previously called Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, which had been around for many decades.”

Nokia also said the contract with the Chinese insurance company “shows progress in Nokia’s strategy to expand beyond telecoms markets.”

In fact, Nokia has been making a concerted effort to broaden its scope beyond supplying equipment to service providers. Last year, the Finnish company created a standalone software business. And Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri said at that time the company would beef up its sales efforts with a focus on extra-large enterprises and some specific verticals.

China Pacific Insurance

CPIC — China’s second-largest property insurance company — will use Nuage’s VSP in two CPIC data centers: one to integrate the dispersed IT systems of 82 branch offices into one unified private cloud platform, and the second to use the company cloud for research and development. Deployment of the SDN technology started in August 2017.

“Working with a top insurer like CPIC serves as an excellent reference for the broader industry, and we see this as an opportunity to win more large enterprise projects in China, continuing Nokia’s push into vertical markets beyond the telecoms space,” said Jin Jian, Nokia Shanghai Bell’s head of the enterprise and public sector unit, in a statement.

Although CPIC is Nokia’s first major Chinese non-telco customer for its SDN technology, Nokia has won big SDN business in China before. In January it said China Mobile had deployed nearly 2,000 public cloud servers at two existing data centers in Beijing and Guangzhou. And it chose Nuage’s VSP technology for the project.

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