Belgian Foreign Affairs Service details flexible support requirement at Orange Business Live 2010

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At Orange Business Live 2010, Jorg Leenaards, ICT director of the Belgian Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs, detailed how his organisation is engaged with Orange Business Services. The organisation has to be flexible because it has 3,500 employees working abroad to support 410,000 Belgian citizens that live overseas. "Our bosses, our ministers and CEOs are politicians," he said. "I don't want to say anything negative about politicians but they change a lot. We have to be flexible because we have to respond and deal with potential crisis situations and events over the world."

Leenaards gives the example of reacting to the Haiti earthquake. Belgium had no representation in Haiti so had to set up a basic consular station within 72 hours of the disaster.

He also explained the challenges of supporting a recent visit by the King of Belgium to Congo. "We needed to provide stable internet access for 125 journalists supporting the mission of the King," he said. "Within three days Orange Business Services came up with good, flexible, stable solutions - not easy in a difficult location."
 
The ICT demands placed on the organisation are diverse and substantial. "The organisation has to flexible so the IT has to be flexible too," added Leenaards. "IT has become a commodity, our diplomats rely heavily on IT to give them the services they need. We found out that Orange Business Services can be very flexible from the very beginning. When we signed the contract there was a roll-out plan but, after the contract was inked, we decided to change the plan and Orange Business Services was flexible enough to put in new resources to help us cope with that new challenge."