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A global-Sized Challenge for a Truly Global Organization

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Case Study: A Global-sized Challenge for a Truly Global Organization

Background

Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MoFAs) are a global group of organizations with a global-sized scale of communications needs. Their presence in countries around the world sees them play a vital role in protecting national interests and supporting their citizens, wherever they may be. This means security and reliability are at the top of their requirements when building connections among their embassies and consulates, which are sometimes located in remote areas with limited IT and infrastructure support. It’s a challenge that many multinational organizations face in a world that expects more and more from technology.

It’s not just the distance between offices and local infrastructure that throw up a litany of ICT considerations. Local regulations, restrictions, security threats, unreliable communication lines, power outages and even political unrest and natural disasters contribute to an unpredictable environment whereby communication and the technology behind it must continue to operate efficiently.

The complexity of the environments in which MoFAs operate requires a secure, stable, real-time, collaborative and ubiquitous network. Modern diplomats need the ability to communicate digitally 24x7 with the mobile device of their choice but will not be confined to the boundaries of their embassies. Providing emergency consular support to citizens abroad requires reliable call center services and easy access to global free phone numbers.

Whilst security is paramount due to the highly sensitive nature of the information flying about their networks, the level of infrastructure perhaps poses one of the toughest challenges to navigate. With around 25 per cent of MoFA locations connecting via satellite due to poor or non-existent local infrastructure, secure hybrid networking is essential to building a workable option for the organization.


Orange Business Services has been working with MoFAs in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden for more than ten years to build and support networks that meet and exceed all their requirements. Working with a customer with specific and intensive needs has highlighted four areas that have proved integral to the network.

On-the-ground support

Ministries usually rely on IT teams based in major headquarters for support so Orange Business Services has made it a point to provide on-the-ground service to ensure processes run smoothly. Without third parties engaged to manage the relationship, the critical support needed to maintain and service such a complex communications network, including satellite equipment, is always owned by Orange Business Services field services teams.

With feet-on-the-street and an ear-to-the-ground, the Orange Business Services team is able to navigate legal and regulatory issues, as well as local customs, with their intimate knowledge of the area.

A highly customized project plan

Logistical challenges are a constant encounter for MoFAs, and their networking needs are no different. Orange Business Services developed a specific plan for MoFAs, and central staging and mass deployment are two key areas.

Central staging occurs when racks are preconfigured and tested in one location to ensure accuracy and speed. Once this has been completed, the staged rack and VSAT antennas are shipped by diplomatic pouch, thus providing an assurance it won’t be delayed and meets timelines. As the infrastructure is shipped in a plug-and-play mode, a local Orange engineer can work simply with the local MoFA office to complete the installation.

With feet-on-the-street and an ear-to-the-ground, the Orange Business Services team is able to navigate legal and regulatory issues, as well as local customs, with their intimate knowledge of the area.

Sector-specific applications

Commitment to serving the needs of prominent governmental agencies such as MoFAs has given Orange the opportunity to create new solutions to assist the organization with their activities. For example, VSAT Emergency Kits consisting of ultra-portable, antennas along with Iridium or Inmarsat mobile handsets were developed to give diplomats continued communications during emergency situations. Along with a secure videoconferencing service using a low bandwidth to suit the typical MoFA network, Orange has recognized how the specific communications and networking situations for organizations such as MoFAs differ from the norm and as such, has developed specific products to ensure effective communication continues.

With feet-on-the-street and an ear-to-the-ground, the Orange Business Services team is able to navigate legal and regulatory issues, as well as local customs, with their intimate knowledge of the area.

Hybrid networks

Supporting Real-Time multimedia traffic over MoFA networks is essential. The voice- and video communication needs to be transported over their networks in an efficient and secure manner with any-to-any communications while also having the ability to interact with local NGO’s and other governmental agencies. Orange creates resilient and secure hybrid networks with MPLS and Internet based infrastructures, WAN traffic optimization and Application Performance Management (APM) to provide insight in- and manage the traffic flows.

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