As COVID-19 has spread, restaurant and catering businesses have closed their doors, knocking their supply chains sideways. Catering equipment suppliers have been bolstered by orders of essential deliveries of hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and other vital social care institutions, but it has exacerbated their challenges in getting deliveries from point A to point B.

The pandemic has reduced supply chain visibility dramatically and exacerbated logistics issues due to road transport blockages and containers stuck at ports or in transit.

Despite having continuity plans, catering equipment suppliers are finding their supply chains are being impacted as the pandemic takes hold. This is making it difficult to keep vital supplies flowing. Communication is vital, but often complex, with employees, product suppliers and customers mostly working remotely.

It is for this very reason that a global catering equipment supplier turned to Orange Business Services for a unified communications and collaboration (UCC) platform. Among other things, the company provides crucial hygiene and PPE to hospitals and care homes, including the recently created NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, one of many institutions on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. It is therefore imperative that their employees can collaborate quickly and easily wherever they are to ensure the company is as agile as possible in fulfilling orders.



Remote working was the exception, not the rule before the pandemic hit this Orange customer. The new unified collaboration and communications platform has been its lifeline during the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Collaborate from anywhere

Just prior to the pandemic taking hold across the world, the company had been in discussion with Orange to deploy a UCC platform within the business. Following discussions and a proof of concept (PoC) at the beginning of 2020, Orange deployed “Cloud Meetings with Zoom,” which is the Orange managed service for the Zoom’s Meetings platform. It includes Zoom’s video-first UCC platform integrating Orange market-leading global voice capability and service support. The solution provides video meetings, voice, webinars and chat across desktops and mobile devices. The installation also included Orange Contact Center Access and Orange Business Talk, providing a voice service with the ability to manage all types of calls from outbound and inbound to on-net, off-net and international.

The deployment came at exactly the right time to deal with the massive supply chain disruption the virus is causing. Zoom, the first cloud platform the business has instigated, has quickly established itself as an easy-to-use and key tool for employees collaborating remotely in the crisis. Initially, the company wanted 750 of its employees to access the UCC platform, but due to the limitations of its network, it has started with 250 users. Orange is currently working with the company to transform its network to cope with extra and unexpected capacity. Numbers will be ramped up within the next three to six months.

Ensuring deliveries get through on time

Remote working was the exception, not the rule, before the pandemic affected this Orange customer. UCC has been its lifeline. Easily and quickly integrated into work processes, Zoom has allowed employees to communicate and be productive while working remotely, supporting the delivery of critical items in these unprecedented times.

250 users initially accessing UCC platform