Teleworking in the Accor Group above all not saturating the systems

accor employee benefits
RSSI Group

“More than 50% of the employees at the headquarters were already used to using their portablef PC at home,” explains Serge Saghroune, RSSI Group. But its use was sporadic.

Accor Employee Benefits

What is new with the current situation is the number of people connected at the same time, with high-intensity connections.”

At the end of 2019, the episode of the major strikes had served as a large-scale test: The situation at the time allowed us to check that our architecture could hold, but needed some optimizations. We had seen how the gateways could be used simultaneously, to the point of risk of saturation.”

The coronavirus crisis has led to the closure of nearly 75% of hotels in 90 countries around the world, as S├ębastien Bazin, president of the group, which has 5,000 hotels, told the press at the beginning of April. Nearly 220,000 employees out of 320,000 ended up in partial or full technical unemployment.

Alert from China

The subsidiary in China gave the alert in February, asking for help from the central IT teams. This allowed us to anticipate what was later to be asked of us in Europe, in Africa, in the United States, namely a very large number of creation of remote connections in a very short time. A comfort solution became a widespread solution not only for seats but also for hotels.”

Fortunately, the containment did not occur at the same time, either in Europe or elsewhere in the world. It was therefore necessary to generalize the remote connection while preserving the security.

“Once the number of access licenses was expanded, the number of simultaneous connections was multiplied by 4,” observes Serge Saghroune.

Infrastructure and security solutions – in particular Vpns – held the ground. Software updates have been checked to avoid "crashes". The network address ranges have been extended, but to avoid the risk of saturation, new remote connection modes have also been put in place: «we had to avoid using the same access gateways at the same time», stresses Serge Saghroune.

Thus, the "general public" connections were separated from the VPN accesses. They are routed to a specific platform, which remains very secure: double authentication, encryption of passwords and creation of temporary login certificates.

Vpns in priority for businesses

These non-vpn accesses also helped to avoid an explosion in the cost of licenses. VPN access is thus reserved for businesses that need more than an office suite (including videoconferencing Teams). Because, even if most establishments are closed to customers, it is necessary to maintain accounting, management control, etc.

“Trades must be able to work from home exactly as if they were in their office.” Finally, it may happen that some connection requests are specific, with "non-standard" equipment. It is rare, but in these cases we balance security, the cost of security and the interest of demand. Together, with the applicant, we try to find a solution... if it exists and helps maintain the balance between security and cost of the solution», punctuates Serge Saghroune.

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