The energy industry is already feeling the impact of COVID-19 as energy demand dampens across the globe. In addition, oilfield service companies have had to implement remote working programs in record time to deal with the lockdown.

Oilfield service companies are used to managing natural disasters and power outages, but few were prepared for the impact of this pandemic. The resulting lockdown means that entire offices of knowledge workers need to work from home, while coping with a dramatic downturn in energy needs.

This is how a multinational oilfield services company has met this unique crisis head on. It moved quickly to enable its global workforce to work from home, even where legacy systems looked like they would be a major stumbling block. Its swift action has enabled it to continue operations and support its customers in this fast-moving worldwide health emergency.

This was a complex mission, requiring minimal changes to be made to the existing architecture to meet critical deadlines.


Transforming on the fly

The customer had a very small timeframe to activate remote working for its entire office-based workforce. It was in the middle of a major digital transformation project with Orange Business but needed staff across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America to be able to work from home urgently. In a normal day, several hundred staff would have had access to remote working. The company needed to scale this up to tens of thousands in days to keep its business operating under the pressure of COVID-19.

Orange first upgraded the company’s Internet capabilities at its main data center in Amsterdam. It doubled the company’s bandwidth to make sure it had the Internet VPN infrastructure to cope with increased users, traffic and concurrent sessions. This was a complex mission, requiring minimal changes to be made to the existing architecture to meet critical deadlines. Orange deployed two additional lines doubling capacity to 2 Gbps.

Orange was in the middle of migrating the company to a Cisco IP infrastructure when the pandemic struck. It fast-tracked the activation of 1,500 Cisco Jabber softphones for inbound and outbound calls to ensure the company’s key staff could be reached easily. The Orange team worked around the clock to compress the migration from three weeks into a few days.

For countries that still have legacy IP telephony infrastructures, Orange set up Cisco Communicator to enable users to work from home. These countries will eventually move to Cisco Jabber softphones as lockdowns ease.

Fast tracking digital transformation

Robust remote technologies are central to successful homeworking programs. During a crisis, they are critical to enabling entire workforces to work from home productively.

Orange has worked very closely with this customer to come up with solutions and workarounds that have accelerated its digital transformation. Technologies deployed have provided contingent safety measures for employees and ensured the company can carry out business as near normal as possible given the situation.

Cisco Jabber softphones activated