Logistics giant’s home-working initiative keeps freight moving during Coronavirus crisis

In the global logistics business, you must know where your assets are, what condition they are in and when they will arrive at their destination. Some disruption can be expected, but the COVID-19 pandemic sent an unprecedented shockwave throughout the logistics world. In response, a leader in the global logistics industry faced the coronavirus crisis head-on by tripling its remote access capacity. This has enabled 85% of its global office staff to work from home so that they could keep the supply chain moving, shipping essential goods to where they are needed most.



This project shows the importance of creativity and transparency to find a solution in what are far-from-normal working conditions.

 

Thomas Guibert, Head of Global Client Programs Europe, Orange Business Services

Dealing with a disruptive force

The global logistics industry is a well-oiled but complex machine. A critical failure in one cog can bring the machine to a standstill. By enabling office staff to work effectively from home during COVID-19, this customer in the logistics industry has managed to reduce uncertainty around its operations and keep its trucks and containers moving. The real test of any logistics operation is how rapidly it can respond to disruption and minimize the impact on the supply chain. In this instance, our customer has demonstrated considerable resilience.

The company’s battle against coronavirus began in China, where so much of the world’s goods are manufactured. As the factories and offices closed to stem the spread of the virus, the logistics company needed to get the manufactured items out of the country and distributed around the world. Thousands of office staff in the country needed to work from home, almost overnight.

As the virus spread throughout the world, the customer needed to extend the remote-working capability to nearly all of its office staff to ensure their health and well-being. Being able to scale this capability in days required help.

Home-working initiative implemented in record time

To switch 85% of its office workers to teleworking as fast as possible, the global logistics company called on the expertise of Orange Business Services to help it add network capacity and scale up its self-managed Cisco remote access VPN.

Due to lockdowns and social distancing, all upgrading needed to be performed remotely. Orange and the customer formed virtual teams, working together openly and transparently to find workarounds if regular routes were not possible or components unavailable. This involved round-the-clock meetings to get the customer’s employees up to speed working from home in time to keep the business active. Orange ran several parallel scenarios to show the various options for increasing the remote access capacity, including speeding up testing and deployment.

Orange not only scaled up the customer’s Cisco VPN, but also showed the customer how it can best use its network in a crisis. Through Zscaler, for example, Orange can continually monitor the network usage and advise on policies to optimize performance, such as advising employees not to use bandwidth-intensive applications unless necessary.

Continuing collaboration remotely

Within days, Orange has tripled this global logistics company’s remote access capacity, allowing 85% of its office workforce to work from home and retain business continuity. Orange is continuing to work closely with the customer during the COVID-19 pandemic to further improve the user experience. Discussions have already opened on how Orange can make the customer’s network more resilient against future, unexpected global catastrophes.

85% of employees immediately switched to teleworking