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Anheuser-Busch InBev brews digital infrastructure with Orange

Global brewing giant partners with business services division of global telco company to help with digital transformation

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), which claims to be the world’s leading brewing company, has renewed its existing contract with Orange Business, the enterprise division of the Orange Group, in a bid to lay the critical infrastructure foundations to enable its future digital innovation plans in Europe, and deliver connectivity and voice services as the backbone for enhanced productivity.

With a brewing heritage dating back more than 600 years, spanning continents and generations, AB InBev is the maker of more than 500 iconic brands, including Stella Artois, Corona, Brahma, Quilmes and Budweiser. Geographically diversified, the company employs 167,000 staff based in nearly 50 countries worldwide, and for 2022, its reported revenue was $57.8bn.

In the UK alone, Budweiser Brewing Group employs around 1,000 people in three breweries in Magor, South Wales; Samlesbury, Lancashire; Enfield, North London; and in a local headquarters in Central London.

The company also has what it claims are industry-leading digital platforms, dedicated research labs and technology centres to ensure it’s offering the latest market insights as it looks to become the industry’s best-in-class smart brewery.

To that end, AB InBev believes the new relationship with Orange Business will help lay a critical first step in digital transformation to enable its future digital innovation plans in Europe, transforming legacy voice services to SIP-based services, to provide employees the best-connected experience by innovating through a new digitised and automated approach.

Orange has also been tasked to provide faster connectivity performance and higher bandwidth, which enables them to invest in future digital tools with a robust network, delivering critical connectivity between 70 locations and its headquarters in Belgium.

The new network is also intended to enable AB InBev to access the same information, with a longer lead to digitally transition to an evolution platform that enhances employee experience and collaboration.

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As part of the journey to transform legacy voice services to SIP-based services, employees will be able to communicate and operate through a Microsoft Teams environment.

“As we look to expand our digital footprint and innovate, it was essential to work with a supplier that could support us in our vision for the future,” said Pieter Bruyland, vice-president of solutions for Europe at AB InBev. “We are looking to create the industry’s best-in-class smart breweries, digitising our ecosystem and engaging with our employees in the best-connected experience by innovating through a new digitised and automated approach. To achieve this, we need to lay the groundwork now. We trust Orange Business, and we look forward to continuing this journey together.

“We pride ourselves on leading the industry, reimagining what a beer company can be,” he said. “With Orange, we know we will have the infrastructure and optimised support in place to embark on new digital innovations supporting our customers and employees as we look to lead the way.”

“Having the right foundations in place is a critical first step to support digital transformation,” said Nemo Verbist, senior vice-president for Europe at Orange Business.

“AB InBev has many developments in the works, namely around cyber security and software-defined networks, and we are looking forward to working with them to grow and evolve their platforms and ecosystem with us. Building a brewery of the future is an exciting milestone, and we are poised to support them on this journey.”

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