Digital transformation: how does Orange do it?

For both our employees and our customers, innovation is only transformed into progress when it’s accessible to as many people as possible. Internally, this means we ensure that digital transformation brings new opportunities for our employees. Let’s see the latest initiatives implemented by the Group.

How digital transformation benefits employees

Becoming a digital business has been at the heart of Orange’s activities for several years and is one of our strategic pillars. The 2017 edition of the eCAC40 ranks Orange as one of the leaders in this field. At Orange, we want employees to benefit from the new opportunities brought about by digital technologies. The ‘work and digital’ agreement signed in September 2016 with three major trade unions contributes to greatly to our internal digital transformation. In particular, it aims to reduce the risk of a digital divide by educating everyone about new digital uses and protecting employees’ personal data.

Having an official agreement about digital transformation ensures that it is not done at our employees’ expense but to help everyone learn, grow and simplify their daily lives. Digital already runs throughout the entire Group, and now is the time to develop tailor-made learning and digital skills.
Philippe Trimborn, director of social innovation and digital transformation at Orange

Our Digital Leadership Inside programme is also part of the process to infuse a “digital culture” throughout the company. Specifically, this includes research and studies with managers, the Digital Awards competition to encourage internal initiatives and the launch of the Digital Academy – which enables each Group employee to acquire a common set of digital skills. Since its launch in 2014, more than 100,000 digital passports have been obtained by teams in all countries. “Orange has 1,000 digital ambassadors across the French territory. They share their digital expertise with their colleagues either informally or in workshops. Mentoring and reverse mentoring also enables the flow of digital knowledge between generations,” adds Philippe Trimborn.

Inventing tomorrow’s working and management practices

Digital transformation is also a powerful lever to evolve working methods. Our employees and customers expect us to be more flexible, with less demarcation between internal and external activities. This has resulted in a shift towards a culture of “doing” and towards new collaboration and management practices within the company.

We identify major digital trends and try to understand how they can enable us to work more efficiently.
Maya Sérigne, HR director for innovation, working practices and data intelligence at Orange

To support this approach, Orange has launched Work Labs, a Group test environment where employees can experience new ways of working closely with teams out in the field. The “test and learn” logic, based on employee feedback, make it possible to understand which working methods create the most value and what support is needed for wider dissemination within the Group.

One such test centre is la villa Bonne Nouvelle, a co-working space created in Paris in 2014. The building is home to internal teams and start-ups cohabiting in a real “in vivo” laboratory. “It’s a great place to measure time management (different working patterns), how the manager’s role evolves in these spaces and also how efficiently everyone collaborates within the project.” highlights Maya Sérigne. “Co-location increases agility and makes business processes simpler and more seamless, there is more spontaneous discussion, fewer meetings and emails, and a less formal structure. Proximity strengthens relationships, a sense of belonging and contribution.”

The way start-ups operate is also a source of inspiration. “We have an internal entrepreneurship system to recreate an agile working environment similar to that of a start-up and help employees develop their ideas,” explains Philippe Trimborn. “Many Orange teams have already introduced these agile working methods: all of our Technocentre employees are working in this way!”

Are these practices likely to become more widespread across the Group? “We want to start with local initiatives and expand gradually,” Philippe Trimborn concludes. “We’re aware that change will only happen if employees believe the approach will work and can experiment with it on their own.”

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