Seeing the spread of COVID-19, a major French insurance company acted before the lockdown, choosing prevention over cure by doubling the bandwidth of its WAN network. As a result, its employees were able to transition to working remotely without company activities being affected.

Planning ahead is key

In March 2020, as the COVID-19 epidemic was spreading throughout France, this insurance company decided to plan for how it might be affected and put together a business continuity plan. The challenge was to retain a close relationship with policyholders while protecting the safety of its teams. That could mean working from home for the majority of the company’s 2,600 employees.

One week before the presidential announcement, the insurance company shared its plan with the teams at Orange Business Services, its long-term partner. The company was counting on our ability to respond quickly to increase capacity on its WAN and its Internet connections to prepare for a potential lockdown.



Planning was key to the success of this initiative, emphasizes the Orange Business Services account manager in charge of the project. Our close relationship, including senior management at the insurance company, enabled us to keep calm and plan ahead for difficulties.

 

A close relationship, which saved precious time

Less than 72 hours after the insurance company made the request, Orange Business Services doubled its bandwidth, from 400 to 800 Mbps. Normally, this operation can take several weeks. The team of technicians worked directly on the insurance company’s data centers during out-of-office hours to avoid interrupting the service. As the work was carried out one week before the lockdown started, the technicians were able to travel without difficulty to the insurance company's site and did not have too many requests from other customers.

Activities continued uninterrupted

In the days after the lockdown was announced, the branches and the premises of the insurance company were closed. Ninety percent of employees immediately started working from home, using either their work laptops, for those who had one, or personal devices for the others with no impact on their activity. At the same time, the company gave out around 200 laptops to employees not equipped with mobile devices.

Essential services and customer relations were therefore maintained. The insurance company is planning to retain its network capacity over the coming months to enable its employees to keep on working from home for as long as needed. That won’t stop the company from working with Orange Business Services on new projects aimed at enhancing the flexibility of its network infrastructure in the event of other unforeseen events.

100%
increase in bandwidth in less than 72 hours

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