Capgemini China – home improvements

Elaine Chen, Head of Facilities and Administration, Capgemini China, and Michael Yu, IT Director, Group IT Global Infra APAC, Capgemini China

Just like the transformation programs we carry out for our clients, our own office relocation demonstrates the importance of good preparation, a user-driven design, comprehensive planning, and the right technology.

Over the years, Capgemini’s Business Services has worked with multinational enterprises across many market sectors, so we’re used to witnessing the beneficial effects of change – and in more recent times, we’ve become accustomed in particular to seeing the distinct commercial advantages that digital transformation can bring.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says: “The state of a nation is reflected in the home.” We’re always looking for ways in which we might take advantage of the improvements we bring to others, so when the expiry of the lease approached on our premises in China, we saw an opportunity not just to relocate, but to make some changes.

Home is where the heart is

Capgemini China – Home is where the heart isCapgemini China is home to over 30 client engagements supported by more than 1,000 people. We have a complex IT network environment that comprises the 30 IT network configurations needed to serve our clients.

Our premises were using legacy IT and security technologies that would soon be outdated and not able to meet the requirements of our customers. On top of this, the air-conditioning system was costly, the seating arrangements were unsatisfactory, and the cost of unallocated space was high. Most of all, we needed to provide a stable IT environment and high-performance facilities to help our users meet service level agreement (SLA) expectations and introduce more advanced IT technologies and digital solutions.

In general, we sought further ways to improve employee wellbeing, to upgrade the technical infrastructure, and to reduce costs.

A state-of-the art data center

Capgemini China – A state-of-the art data centerWe decided to move out of our outdated building, which in addition to the challenges mentioned above, was a relatively long distance to the metro station, and which many of our employees found to be unattractive.

Progress was cautious. Because of the importance to our clients of the services we provide, we didn’t cut straight over from one location to the other, but instead implemented a parallel run methodology, so we knew we could roll back rapidly to our old offices if IT services were interrupted at our new premises. To achieve this, old circuits were kept up and running in the old office, and were terminated only after all users had been successfully moved to the new location.

Capgemini China - CanteenThe two sets of premises were temporarily connected by a dedicated purchase-to-pay (P2P) circuit on layer 2 to make use of the same network subnets and the IP address in the new office. This meant users could plug and play seamlessly, without a need to change any of the security configurations so as to allow them access to Capgemini and client systems.

The new state-of-the art data center features an advanced uninterruptible power source (UPS) system with dual loop redundancy and a precision air conditioning system to improve performance and cost-effectiveness.

Capgemini China-meetingroomMeeting rooms, training rooms, and collaboration rooms are equipped with productivity devices including a 120” screen with a wireless laser projector, a wireless 75” movable touch and writing screen, touchscreen booking systems, hanging speakers, wearable wireless microphones, and a touch-screen central control system.

The new office also enabled us to reduce unallocated space costs and to improve the seat utilization rate.

As with the transformation programs we conduct on behalf of clients, our own office relocation demonstrates the importance of:

  • Good preparation
  • A user-driven design
  • Comprehensive planning
  • The technological knowledge needed to implement the solution
  • Preparing different rollback plans as insurance against many eventualities.

New beginnings, new adventures

The outcome of the relocation has been truly spectacular. The introduction of new IT technologies has enabled us to greatly empower our employees and clients with advanced, digital IT solutions. This includes:

  • Unique IT network relocation design – our users, PCs, and servers use the exact same IP address/subnet as they did previously in the old office. This has meant no change was required on both the Capgemini and our clients’ backend systems, which greatly reduced the amount of work, complexity, and disruption of our IT systems relocation on our people and clients
  • State-of the-art data center and server room – we introduced a full set of advanced monitoring systems with fingerprint access, server room air conditioning, an advanced fire alarm and extinguishing system, and a specially designed fresh air ventilation and exhaust system
  • Well-designed core IT infrastructure– a state-of-the-art CCTV/access control system and a new Cisco VoIP telephony system that provides enhanced performance and security
  • User-friendly reception desk– with integrated 55” flat screens, modern sound system, and easy-to-use visitor sign-in system.

Relocating Capgemini China has led to a range of results, including:

  • €1.5 million savings over five years
  • Business operation continuity from the first day after relocation
  • Environmentally aware premises, including furniture, carpets, and decor
  • No SLA breaches
  • Commendatory letters from clients.

We have another proverb in China that says: “Away from home they look at your clothes. At home they look at what is under them.” We sleep well at night in the knowledge our Nanhai delivery center is best-in-class – both inside and out.

Elaine Chen is Head of Facilities and Administration at Capgemini’s Nanhai center. She also leads Capgemini China’s corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR&S) program, organizing and encouraging employees at the center to explore more activities for the benefit of Capgemini’s people and the local community.

Michael Yu led the regional Group IT team to design and execute the overall IT relocation architecture to successfully relocate Capgemini China’s entire IT system to new premises.