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Financial Times: Enabling a Mobile Workforce

The Challenge

Improve local internet and VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections in order to recover and increase high levels of employee productivity in the workplace. The FT was feeling the effects of the growing consumerisation of IT trend amongst its workforce. Increasingly, employees were asking to connect their smartphones and tablet devices to the network to enable them to work wirelessly and in a secure manner. In addition, as the business continued to grow and more offices were springing up across the world, the increasing number of international locations connecting to the original headquarters in London and New York were putting a strain on the network’s bandwidth. This was resulting in a very slow, but costly, internet connection. This meant that the company was spending a lot of money on a service that was not only proving to be inefficient, but actually hampering productivity on a daily basis. As well as the desire for more mobility with their smartphones and tablets, employees were getting frustrated that they weren’t able to work in the office as efficiently as they could at home where they had strong, fast internet connections. Keen to address these problems quickly, the FT turned to its trusted solution provider, Orange Cyberdefense, the independent IT security integrator, a company whose expertise it had sought for a decade. The issue was discussed at the FT’s quarterly exec review meeting where it would raise current business challenges with Orange Cyberdefense for the company to provide advice and consultancy on suitable solutions. Orange Cyberdefense’s work for the FT in the past included managing the company’s premise infrastructure, conducting WAN exploration, and providing it with a remote branch office solution.

The Solution

After reviewing the current business challenge, it was agreed that the solution implemented would need an aggressive roll out due to pressure from users demanding a workable, quick solution. As a result, the solutions were rolled out extremely rapidly in a matter of weeks. Firstly, Orange Cyberdefense selected and deployed Aruba Networks to enable local internet connection. This meant that each remote FT site would be connected to the internet directly, rather than using a private network to head office. This was a more cost-effective solution and would result in faster and higher quality connections for the local offices. Secondly, Aruba Networks set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in two regional sites – the New York and London offices – allowing employees to easily connect to the resources at head office. A cloud-based web filtering solution was also provided by Aruba Networks to control what websites employees visit when they access the internet locally, to make sure they remain in line with the FT’s global security policy.

Business benefits

The solutions deployed by Orange Cyberdefense enable all FT employees to work wirelessly. They can now connect their smartphone devices and tablets in a secure, structured way to the network and have access to all the resources they should need from head office. This gives employees the flexibility to work remotely, which has improved employee’s productivity as well as their working life. The FT has also embraced the onslaught of mobile devices by launching its own app edition of the paper for the iPad and iPhone, enabling readers to keep up to date with the latest news while on the go. With internet traffic now staying local, speeds have improved dramatically and employees no longer feel that their connections at home are better than in the office. Local internet access is also much cheaper, so the business can reap the financial benefits of this. In addition, the FT no longer has to upgrade its very expensive WAN connections as quickly as it used to, so further cost savings have been made.

Key highlights

  • Industry: Financial services
  • The Challenge: Improve local internet connections in order to recover and increase high levels of employee productivity in the workplace
  • The Solution: Deployment of Aruba Networks enabling local internet connections and the set up of VPN’s in London and New York headquaters


1. Easy access to company resources

2. Internet speeds have dramatically improved

3. Allows employees to connect smartphone and tablet devices to the network

4. Cheaper local internet access saving FT time and money upgrading expensive wider area network connections

5. Simplified support with one point of contact for all problems

6. Easier audit compliance

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