Transformed 380 sites across France with SD-WAN
France’s top car servicing company Norauto has bridged the gulf between customers and car mechanics by giving the clients a complete overview of every aspect of their vehicle’s servicing. It achieved this massive improvement in its communications culture with a network that was software defined by Orange Business Services (OBS). The conversion of all 380 sites across France to a software defined wide are network (SD-WAN) began nine months ago and 300 auto centres have already been digitally transformed.
On completion Norauto’s nationwide network will offer ‘new customer experiences’ in each auto centre, said Orange. The main change in experience seems to be inclusion, which in this case means demystifying the treatment of their beloved car. Customers will be able to check in and out through a cloud-based software service. The offices are co-ordinated with IP telephony, which gives the staff many more options for sharing information and keeping customers in the loop. When customers are in the waiting areas they will be able see every wheel alignment, oil change and tappet tuning as it takes place. This sort of pit stop, nuts and bolts level attention to detail makes the customer feel much more involved and earns their trust and appreciation. Technology is being used to make the customer feel more included.
By witnessing the maintenance on their vehicles in real time with status updates and electronic price tags, they are much more likely to feel an affinity with the garage. The mechanics enjoy having an audience which now has an appreciation of what they do. Technology removes any mutual suspicion that might build up in other circumstances. Now their cars are largely software controlled too, customers can see new applications being redesigned with the latest technologies. All these major ‘feel good’ additions and fundamental changes to the way the maintenance business is structured were achievable after the applications were moved to the cloud.
OBS’s Flexible SD-WAN allows Norauto to give individual stores direct access to cloud-hosted applications. In addition, security has been bolstered in response the rising threat of car hacking. Orange Cyberdefense uses Fortinet Secure SD-WAN system to lock down the system. “All of this creates a positive impact for their business,” said Nadine Foulon-Belkacémi, EVP for French Major Clients at Orange Business Services.
The project was co-constructed with Norauto in two stages. First OBS set up hybrid MPLS and broadband internet links then they began a full migration to broadband internet access links. A new operating portal gives Norauto’s technical teams a complete overview of the network. New features such as filtering rules make the more alert and responsive to situations. Norauto benefits from a single point of contact and end-to-end support for all business from design and deployment to change management. This is possible because the technology helps the Norauto and OBS staff to jointly analyse and respond to issues as a team.
“All this was done in a cost-value-requirement-lead time equation under control,” said Laurent Moreau, CIO leader at Norauto France.