Diagnostic tests are crucial in medicine to help doctors prescribe the most appropriate treatment for patients. They are vital in the fight against COVID-19, but managing the supply chain during this unprecedented health emergency continues to be a huge challenge.

The manufacturing of diagnostic testing kits for high-volume testing is technologically complex. It depends on a robust global supply chain to ensure tests get to the places they are needed. It is a highly interdependent supply chain that needs sophisticated management.

This is exactly why a multinational biotechnology company has been working closely with Orange Business Services. It wanted to ensure that it has full visibility of its supply chain to keep any disruption to a minimum. At the same time, it needed to fully support its knowledge workers working from home in the lockdown. This was unchartered territory for the company as it does not have a culture of homeworking.

Protecting the supply chain in a crisis

The company wanted 100 of its staff telecommuting securely as quickly as possible, before rapidly upgrading this to 250.

Firstly, Orange upgraded the company’s network to accommodate remote working and increased broadband capabilities. Secondly, Orange used next-generation firewalls with support for virtual private networks (VPN) to provide secure access to the company’s network. Users dial in on their own home Internet connection via a private VPN.

Security was a big issue as the company has intellectual property details and critical business information accessible on its network. User profiling is used to determine access to data relevant to each employee’s role in the company.

Feedback from homeworkers has been extremely positive. The company is now looking at performance monitoring tools to optimize network performance for home users and bolster productivity.

A resilient response plan

The multinational biotechnology company needed to respond fast enough to get its staff working from home, but remain flexible enough to keep up with rapidly changing supply chain updates. The company had never adopted homeworking before, so there was also a change in corporate culture to contend with.

The medical supply industry as a whole has been under immense strain due to the pandemic. This project has spotlighted the ability of Orange to quickly deploy a secure, consistent solution that has enabled the company to continue operations, despite staff working from home. This has allowed critical diagnostic tests to get through to the medical organizations that need them, despite the disruptive forces of COVID-19.

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