Westpac

Enabling remote productivity for 5k+ users

Westpac required a new digital workspace partner and chose Fujitsu to deliver multiple application and device services. Fujitsu also deployed a new virtual private network (VPN) to handle the increase in traffic generated by working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Challenges

Westpac needed a trusted digital workspace services partner. This coincided with COVID-19 forcing staff to work remotely, burdening the network. It chose Fujitsu for its shared values and its drive for collaboration.

Solutions

Fujitsu transformed the remote access architecture and provided an end-to-end digital workspace service, including Office 365 support, service desk, identity management and device lifecycle management.

Outcomes

  • 5,000+ users can work from home concurrently
  • VPN connectivity speeds rival in-office performance
  • Customers experienced no outages during the transition
Being able to work effectively again was only possible because we approached this as one team to complete the project in two weeks with no outages or disruption.

Nathan Radford, Digital Workplace Service Owner, Westpac

5,000+

users can work from home concurrently

2 weeks

to design and deploy a new
VPN environment

About the customer

Westpac is one of New Zealand’s largest financial institutions, employing more than 5,000 people to help over 1.3 million customers. Westpac aims to be one of the world’s greatest service companies with a strong, sustainable and scalable organisational culture. With a full range of retail and commercial financial services, the company helps to grow everyone, be it the regular New Zealanders, farmers, businesses or the government itself.

Overwhelmed by WFH traffic

One of New Zealand’s leading financial institutions, Westpac, had a digital workspace partner for many years. The legacy environment made collaboration difficult and as part of Westpac’s Agile transformation, the partnership with a digital workplace partner needed to be reinvented and reinvigorated. The company issued an RFP, looking primarily for process transparency, trust, risk management and a collaborative approach, to transform its environment and improve the employee experience.

Westpac selected Fujitsu as its digital workspace partner based on its collaborative outlook and experience. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and all employees that were able to do so, were mandated to work from home. In 2021, during the second period of lockdown, Westpac’s network and infrastructure couldn’t cope with the massive increase in traffic, forcing it to introduce a critical worker list that gave certain users permission to log in during the working day. Everyone else was expected to log in outside hours.

“We had over 5,000 people working from home and using much richer media, such as Teams. The result was congestion, lagging and failed connections,” explains Nathan Radford, Digital Workplace Service Owner at Westpac. “If our employees were not on the critical list, they were advised to turn off the laptop and use their phone to access Outlook. Not an ideal situation.”

Enabling remote productivity

The initial contract covers a wide range of services, including Office 365 support and fully managed Windows 10 desktop, service desk, identity management, device lifecycle and so much more. However, during the second lockdown in 2021, the first priority was to solve the VPN issue and enable the entire workforce to become productive.

Fujitsu, Westpac and other providers worked together as a single team to deploy a new network architecture to prioritise traffic and align to business pressures and critical services which now had to be provided remotely. The ’split tunnel’ approach separated core business functions from all other network traffic. This ensured that up to 5,000 concurrent users, such as bankers, traders and developers, could access vital payment and processing applications.

Faster speeds, enhanced reliability

The new VPN instantly enabled thousands of people to become truly productive again, ensuring all business units could function properly. The connectivity speed while working from home now rivals the in-office experience and, in the case of video streaming, offers better performance at home.

Crucially, careful planning and design by Westpac and Fujitsu ensured there were no outages or disruptions to the business during the implementation. Given that most of Westpac’s customers were also working remotely rather than visiting the local branch, this availability was key.

The main feedback was the sheer relief of being able to work effectively again. “This was only possible because we and Fujitsu approached this as one team, working 14 hours a day, seven days a week,” concludes Radford. “That’s why we were able to complete the VPN project in just two weeks with no outages or disruption to the business. We are now looking forward to continuing our wider journey with Fujitsu.”

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