As stakeholders in an essential industry, energy companies have been highly mobilized since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. One major energy company optimized the capacity of its cloud platform and VPN network to the maximum to enable its employees to work from home quickly and safely. Here’s the story.

Maintaining dialog at any cost

This energy company, a player in an essential industry, rolled out a unique system to ensure business continuity. Its scores of residential customers need continued access to the basic services it provides for their everyday lives, while its business customers need those same services for their own business continuity.

“The company, which has a large presence in China, faced the COVID-19 crisis very early on but was able to respond rapidly by leveraging the lessons learned from its industrial operations in China,” says Imed Barhoumi, Marketing & Communication Manager at Orange Business Services. That meant the company could plan ahead for its teams in France – which make up about half of its global headcount – to be placed under lockdown and prepare an action plan to maintain service for its customers. The decision was made to remotely reconfigure its VPN network and cloud platform to maximize their capacity and enable as many employees as possible to work from home.



The customer service continuity plan was activated in just a few days. During the two weeks after the lockdown was announced, we upgraded the bandwidth and optimized use of the resources available on the platform.

 

The Orange Business Services Account Director

Remote configuration, hand-in-hand

The company uses the Business VPN end-user solution to manage users’ access rights to its applications in real time, so it can securely open its company network and remote work environment. The platform, set up in December 2019 during the French public transport strikes, had already enabled employees to work from home for several weeks. It is hosted and run by Orange Cyberdefense, an Orange Business Services subsidiary, and configured remotely by Orange teams working hand-in-hand with the customer. “The customer service continuity plan was activated in just a few days,” explains the Orange Business Services Account Director. “During the two weeks after the lockdown was announced, we upgraded the bandwidth and optimized use of the resources available on the platform.”

Flexible adjustments to manage uncertainty

The platform’s capacity was doubled, so 4,000 users can now work remotely simultaneously. To date, 80% of its capacity has been used by employees working on the most critical missions to enable business continuity. They follow the company’s guidelines to ensure optimal resource sharing, such as strictly limiting use of videos and videoconferencing.

Like many others, the company is now exploring ideas for organizing work over the coming months and dimensioning its network capacity for its recovery plan. It plans to increase its remote working capacity to have more employees work from home and accelerate its recovery.

4,000
users working from home simultaneously

 

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