Success Story

Efficiency meets design: FTTO ensures flexible working at the Opacc Campus

Individuality and flexibility combined with cost-effectiveness and efficiency that's what Opacc Enterprise Software is all about. Opacc has been developing IT solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises since 1988. With success: More than 600 Swiss SMEs use the company's software. The portfolio of IT solutions is continuously growing and new components are being added to the software. Since 2018, the heart of Opacc has been beating on the company's impressive campus in Rothenburg, near Lake Lucerne. For the network architecture, the responsible staff focused on flexibility and efficiency - just as they do with their own solutions. Based on the Fiber To The Office concept, all workplaces are connected with micro switches from MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG.

Fiber & copper

The newly constructed building complex impresses with its distinct design, a carefully planned layout and a look that is as modern as it is inviting; it thus reflects the company's guiding principles as well as its software. It is obvious that efficient and future-proof technology had to be chosen for the network technology as well. The requirements, for the individual workplaces of the more than 175 employees and for retreat boxes, library or project rooms, were precisely defined:

- workplaces should be designed flexibly in terms of equipment and bandwidth,

- network security has the highest priority and

- the administrative effort of the network should be minimised

Christian Reiter, CTO of Opacc, analyzed the options and eventually decided in favor of the Fiber To The Office (FTTO) solution of MICROSENS. FTTO combines a space-saving, high-performance and future-oriented fiber infrastructure with copper cabling for the end devices at the workplace. This is enabled by compact, decentralized Micro Switches. They provide the interconnection between the fiber cabling on the one hand and the end devices, which are connected classically with standard RJ-45 cables on the other side..

Double ring for higher reliability
Opacc opted for Micro Switches from MICROSENS with two SFP uplink ports. Opacc increases the availability of the network and uses both uplinks to redundantly connect each workstation to the central switches via two fiber rings. Each Micro Switch provides four RJ-45 ports that can be used to connect various end devices at each workstation. A total of 180 Micro Switches were installed in the new Opacc headquarters. The majority of these are located in the raised floor of the building, which was designed primarily as an open space. Only a few are installed in the walls of single offices. The employees all use mobile Surface computers, which are connected via a pre-installed docking station at each desk. Flavio Waser, system engineer at Opacc and responsible for the MICROSENS devices, explains: "As soon as someone works at a workstation in our building, they use a Micro Switch. The reliability of the MICROSENS products is proven constantly. They have been working consistently and reliable since the first day they were put into operation".

Preconfigured and centrally manageable
Based on their experience, the Opacc team left nothing to chance, but relied on an efficient process. All switches were ordered from the manufacturer pre-configured and labelled. The devices could be installed and activated quickly and easily. The firmware is on a microSD card that can be exchanged if necessary. Since 2021, Opacc has also been using the MICROSENS Network Management Platform (NMP), which can be used to monitor and manage all of the manufacturer's manageable devices. Via the web-based interface, firmware updates can be distributed automatically, VLANs can be configured and modified, and new devices can be commissioned. The time savings are significant, as the expert explains. While manual changes to the configuration on the equipment usually require two or three hours, the NMP software reduces this time to only 30 minutes. Overall, Flavio Waser is convinced of FTTO: "Once you understand the concept, configuring and maintaining the network is very easy."

Network design in a modern environment
The slim design, easy administration and high reliability of the Micro Switches fulfil all expectations of the Opacc team. Thanks to the FTTO concept, a flexible infrastructure was created that can be adapted and expanded quickly and cost-effectively. The classic, decentralized distribution technology with its own technical rooms is no longer necessary, which has a positive effect on both CAPEX and OPEX. In addition, the ecological footprint of the building is further optimized, as less additional secondary equipment is required. The FTTO concept thus unites profitability, sustainability and efficiency and allows Opacc a high degree of freedom in shaping modern workspaces.


@ Photo material with friendly permission of Opacc Software AG

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Transmitting information via fiber optic connections offers numerous benefits. MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG recognised this very early on. As one of the pioneers, the company has developed and produced high-performance communications and transmission systems in Germany since 1993. Individually matched to the demands of diverse usage areas and embedded in comprehensive concepts for individual sectors. But, above all, close to the customer. Technical challenges from customer projects are incorporated directly into product development. This way, IP-based automation solutions are created for modern buildings, cost-efficient network concepts for the office and workspace, robust and fail-safe solutions for industrial environments, optical transport systems future-oriented wide area networks and efficient coupling of sites and computer centres.