31 March 2020

Covid-19: how Orange teams are mobilised to support hospitals, businesses and individuals

During this battle against the Coronavirus, it’s everyone’s duty to support frontline workers, in particular medical staff. To ensure our heroes in white coats can work, businesses can run and individuals have the support they need to stay at home, we’re ensuring network and service continuity in France and abroad. Orange teams are fully committed to maintaining vital links between communities, businesses, the public sector and health personnel.

 

Digital services supporting healthcare facilities

In France and internationally, we’re ensuring health services have the reliable and efficient technology and tools they need to cope with the pandemic.

In fact, supporting healthcare facilities is part of our core business as a telecoms operator. Since the start of the crisis, we have carried out numerous capacity increases to enable additional telephone channels and facilitate access to emergency medical services. In addition, as part of the French emergency response “plan blanc” – which enables hospitals to cope with exceptional health crises by mobilising all resources necessary – we offer platforms to send mass texts and emails to communicate with health personnel. Solutions such as secure ID management then enable caregivers to access hospital software to perform their duties more efficiently.

 

 

All of these actions were carried out thanks to a human chain formed by our teams, notably within our sales and customer service teams, call-out units as well as Orange Healthcare and Enovacom. This coordinated activity enabled requests to be centralised and processed in record time.

Charles Brocker du Lys, National Sales Director for Public Education and Health within Orange Business Services

 

 

While medical personnel are facing an unprecedented peak in activity, our Orange Healthcare teams are deploying new data management solutions for providing patient care. “For example, hospitals can share the number of available intensive care beds with regional health authorities. Deploying new cloud capabilities also enables secure hosting platforms to be installed for medical imaging,” says Éric Pieuchot, Managing Director of Orange Healthcare. Finally, to help prevent medical teams from becoming overloaded, connected medical devices facilitate patient monitoring. Our Patient Connect solution, for example, feeds data provided by electrocardiograms or oxygen pumps into a single screen.

 

 

Thank you to all of you for your help and efficiency! It’s a pleasure to finally work with committed and highly-skilled people.

A large university hospital

 

 

Business activity strongly dependent on networks

Since the announcement of lockdown measures, the number of users connecting to their company's network remotely has already increased by 700% among Orange Business Services customers, the Orange entity dedicated to businesses. The use of remote collaboration solutions such as video conferencing has also exploded, increasing from 20 to 100% depending on the solution. This massive use of teleworking and remote collaboration requires our networks to be scaled to support web, audio and video conferencing and also our customer support channels to be strengthened in terms of contact numbers, call centres and multichannel messaging. In France alone, teams are managing an additional 130 customer operations per day to increase the speed of their internet connections or at their data centres. In total, nearly 3,500 Orange Business Services employees are mobilised to manage customers’ business critical activities and will continue to do so.

 

 

 

How are Orange teams organised?

A dedicated crisis unit has been set up at the Executive Committee level, overseen by Orange Chairman and CEO Stéphane Richard. It coordinates all the different measures and actions carried out within the Group on a daily basis to respond to the evolving pandemic. The use of VPN servers is facilitating remote working on a massive scale for Group employees. In fact, more than 100,000 employees are teleworking including Stéphane Richard, who spoke about his experience via a mobile app connecting Group employees.

 

 

The Group is particularly vigilant with regards to its employees’ health and safety through redoubled hygiene and prevention measures, in line with the latest government recommendations. Our priority is to safeguard the health and safety of all Orange employees, while ensuring the availability, security and integrity of our networks, which have now become critical for the continued functioning of society.

 

 

 

Staying connected to stay at home

An increase in the number of people staying at home is leading to increased connectivity needs and fixed and mobile network traffic. Our network capabilities are already scaled to meet the needs of massively popular events in normal times (including high-visibility football matches, TV series and OTT services). This means everyone can continue to stay in touch with family and friends, work remotely, follow school lessons, and access entertainment. To help the elderly in nursing homes or patients in hospital cope with isolation and loneliness, several care facilities have contacted Orange to provide tablets for staying in touch with loved ones.

We’re also ensuring the continued scalability and sustainability of our networks: when a network event occurs, our teams are on hand to respond and restore service. They are also adjusting and scaling our interconnection with other operators to adapt to the increase in mobile traffic.

Even though stores in France have been temporarily closed, the online shops and “My Orange” mobile app all remain available. Telephone advisers are also available for people who need information or support or who wish to make a purchase or modify their subscription.