Tea company Tetley Group has rolled out a wireless remote access service that allows senior staff to connect their laptops securely to critical head office applications from locations around the world.
The company, which operates in 41 countries, deployed the system to provide staff with reliable connections to the UK from its operations in Asia.
“One of the challenges is that we have offices and partners in Pakistan, India and Bangalore. We have had problems in the past where network operators were not providing a good service,” said Russell Sommer, group infrastructure manager at Tetley.
The service provided by Sirocom and iPass gives 80 senior managers and sales staff secure remote access from wireless hotspots to applications including SAP enterprise resource planning systems, logistics packages and shared company files.
Its deployment, which began at the start of the year, has significantly reduced the number of calls being made to the helpdesk by users, Sommer said.
“The number of calls to the helpdesk is down quite a lot. We have been impressed by the coverage in remote areas,” he said.
Tetley rolled out the iPass service after experiencing technical and support problems with its previous dial-up network. “We had dropped lines and problems with modems,” said Sommer.
The company went through several service providers before achieving the quality of service it required.
Tetley looked at deploying other mobile devices before opting for the wireless laptop service.
“We looked long and hard at Blackberries and smartphones. At the moment we are not deploying them because we are not sure of the business case. It is going to take a little while to move to a price point that we would be comfortable with,” he said.
Staff access the system using passwords, and all communications are encrypted. The system does not provide staff with access to sensitive financial data.