Fall-out from the pandemic has had a severe impact on the mining industry. Mandatory lockdowns have severely impacted operations in some countries, while in others, governments have nominated mining as an essential service. In all locations, however, maintaining inbound and outbound supply chains has been critical in keeping operations functional.

The mining industry depends on global supply chains for heavy equipment, machinery and components getting to mines, often in remote locations. At the same time, raw materials mined need to be shipped to customers around the world. Many mines work to just-in-time processes, which match raw materials to production schedules. Disruption can throw these schedules off track, so it is imperative mining companies keep supply chains under review in real time. Knowledge workers are critical in making sure they remain operational.

Keeping business operational

When the pandemic started to unfold, this mining company needed to get 300 of its knowledge workers working from home immediately. It was a major challenge for the company, which is traditionally office-based, to provide its entire workforce with the predictable performance they needed to telecommute.

The company approached Orange Business Services to support its homeworking program and ensure its employees had the consistent performance they needed to access their Microsoft business applications. Previously, the company only ever had 5-10 remote users, and they primarily used it for communications during business travel.

The team at Orange deployed Business VPN Galerie between the company’s VPN gateway and Microsoft platform. With Business VPN Galerie, cloud applications and IT infrastructures can be accessed directly from the company’s private network, ensuring end-to-end security and predictable performance. This enhances the user experience for cloud users working from home, who are dialing in via a private VPN connection.

By integrating Orange Business VPN Galerie into the MPLS network, the company has seen a tenfold improvement in performance for homeworkers. It has eradicated bottlenecks that could affect performance, which would have made it difficult for employees to efficiently access applications remotely.

Working around the clock

Orange worked closely with the company’s IT team around the clock to meet its performance requirements for all its knowledge workers telecommuting. The complete Orange Business VPN Galerie integration, which was completely carried out remotely, took just 20 days to complete, including working seven days across the Chinese New Year. A project like this would normally take three months from start to finish.

Despite the widespread impact the coronavirus has had on the mining industry, Orange has helped to mitigate supply chain risks for its customer and shore up its business resilience. This has been achieved by quickly getting all the company’s knowledge workers productive from their home offices with a very short deadline.

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