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Broadband brought under central control

Nike in the UK has set up a centrally controlled broadband provisioning system for its teleworkers, after experiencing billing and technical problems with employees arranging their own broadband connections.

Because they made their own broadband arrangements, Nike's teleworkers were billed at different times and were then putting in expenses claims.

The arrangement did not suit Nike's payment cycle times, and teleworkers were at risk of being cut off by their provider. And when technical problems cropped up, Nike’s central IT team did not have the complete history of the service a teleworker was using, threatening further downtime.

Now Nike has implemented the Applica Broadband Administration System and the central IT team orders teleworker requirements via an Applica portal. The information is fed into an Applica database, which generates and sends an XML message to the provisioning system of Tiscali - the company that provides the broadband lines to users.

All changes, from new installations to line terminations, are now managed through this central system. Nike can track the progress of all new lines and read a complete technical and service history for each connection.

Applica chief executive officer Simon Smith said, “Nike knows what it has to pay every month, and is not tied into lengthy broadband contracts that can last 12 months, even when a teleworker has left the company.”

Applica charges Nike a fixed fee for providing broadband to 150 teleworkers over a rolling three-month contract.

The Office for National Statistics says there are around 2.2 million teleworkers in the UK, and predicts that a third of the workforce may be teleworking by 2006, mainly as a result of new flexible working legislation.

The ONS defines a teleworker as someone who works at least one day a week from home.

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