Q1 2020

24 MEA MARKETS / Q1 2020 , Lessons in Digital Workplace Transformations As anyone who attended the recent Gartner Digital Workplace Summit knows only too well, digital workplace transformation is no longer a distant promise, but a stark reality that many organisations find themselves working to implement on a daily basis. Jacob Chacko, Regional Business Head - Middle East, Saudi & South Africa (MESA) at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company is keen to reveal. With every organisation at a different stage in their transformation journey, and technologies frequently moving faster than they can keep up with, it can be easy to lose sight of what they are trying to achieve in the long term in a rush to just get on with things and deliver immediate and tangible changes. So, what networking lessons can I share from some of our most recent digital workplace transformation projects that might come in useful for those organisations who might need to pause and think about their digital transformation strategy: • Rethink your definition of the workplace With today’s need for increased mobility, the demand for network support both inside and outside the workplace (be that an office, school, shop or hospital) is intense. However, though most organisations are already thinking about remote working requirements when planning their digital workplace transformations, many are still failing to consider all the coverage black spots within the building itself – and in doing so, are missing a trick. We recently completed a new wireless network upgrade for The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), which is an organisation that specialises in wellbeing at work. With such a remit, digital working is inevitably a major focus – and to be able to best advise its clients, the organisation has set itself the mandate of truly living digital working, not just researching it. When the time came to refurbish its headquarters in Helsinki, FIOH decided it was the perfect opportunity to rethink its current network provisioning, and install a solution that would enable complete mobility for its staff, wherever they work. Importantly, FIOH didn’t just mean the places where employees might be stationary i.e. in rooms, at desks or in shared lounge areas but those they would potentially move through while still on calls or using their digital applications. Thinking holistically about the journeys that its staff took around the building, FIOH challenged us to implement a solution that would support VoIP calls as staff walked between floors, moved from one meeting room to another, and even when they travelled up and down in lifts – all with no interruption to signal. With Aruba taking care of coverage through the installation of over 600 access points (including several in the lifts), FIOH also brought in a raft of new devices and software solutions to further aid mobility. All staff were issued with new, higher- spec laptops and smartphones, and Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business were rolled out across the organisation – ensuring that staff can now roam to their hearts’ content with no drop in connectivity. Lesson One : When planning your digital workplace transformation, take the time to consider how your employees, guests, visitors and things currently move around your building and map out the network more broadly accordingly. The more mobility you can drive, the more dynamic, flexible and adaptable your workplace will end up being. • Consider network visibility before flooding the workplace with devices While all these new devices sound brilliant in practice, the reality of trying to keep track of them on the network can be less so – particularly when organisations find themselves reactively scrambling to get a handle on the situation. My second lesson, therefore, is one of visibility. Viessmann, one of the world’s leading providers of holistic energy and climate solutions, came to us because it needed a powerful new network to support the digitisation of its internal processes. As with FIOH, the organisation wanted to provide Wi-Fi connectivity in every corner of its sites, in order to support both a move to flexible desks and a heavier focus on bringing IoT technologies into its manufacturing processes. As part of its ongoing transformation, Viessmann is aiming to get 80% of its devices