As the international response to COVID-19 continues to unfold, organizations are facing significant challenges in keeping their global operations running and responding rapidly to the ever-changing situation. This is how a multinational engineering giant has mobilized its global workforce to work from home, maintaining operations and continuing to support its customers and partners through the crisis.

Contingency plans demanded home working

As the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, this multinational engineering giant needed to close its sites and get all of its employees working from home to ensure their safety, while enabling the business to continue to operate and handle fast-moving and unknown variables. A highly contagious disease like COVID-19 presents a real threat to business continuity, so the customer was plunged into the largest teleworking project they had come up against in their history.

We had to upgrade bandwidth, licenses and hardware capacity in days, not weeks.


The seemingly impossible in record time

To prepare and implement secure remote working in a tiny window, the multinational called on its partner Orange Business. Central to the initial project was upgrading the remote access licenses for over 100,000 users within 10 days, with the remainder of employees to rapidly follow. This also required upgrading the remote access capacity to 25 Gbits/s on all six of the multinational’s gateways in just over a week. “We essentially had to upgrade bandwidth, licenses and hardware capacity in days, not weeks, to ensure a safe and stable solution where everyone can work from home,” explains Mathias Mahlke, Sales Director, Orange Business.

Orange split machine clusters to take on the additional data load. Capacity, Internet bandwidth and licenses have been upgraded to the maximum. Since the customer has a follow-the-sun work pattern, all staff have access to the bandwidth they require, with the majority using either Microsoft Teams or Unify Circuit collaboration tools.

In addition, Orange took a pilot project for Zscaler Private Access and scaled it up globally. This provides an alternative to a VPN for access to business-critical, cloud-based applications. Orange also set up two remote access gateways for the multinational’s board and c-level users within three days to ensure that VIP users do not experience any capacity or network quality issues. A daily standby team from Orange is available to support the multinational and ensure its infrastructure is secure and bandwidth is optimized during these compromised times.

Bolstering technological enablement

Technology plays a central role in enabling effective home working. Our customer is advanced in its digital transformation and already had a flexible infrastructure and a robust crisis management plan in place. Working together on such solid foundations, Orange has been able to deploy alternative forms of working that are enabling operations to continue running, almost unhindered, during what is a far-from-typical business disruption.

Upgrades for 100,000 users within 10 days