Business mobile connectivity

Garage forecourts – oh how they suffer without adequate connectivity

What can you write about a garage forecourt? They aren’t particularly attractive places, stuck as they usually are, at the side of busy main roads with lots of cars rushing by. Their canopies can be useful for keeping you dry when filling up in the winter though look out if it is windy and the rain gets horizontal.

Inside the goods in the shop are expensive but I guess that is how most of the profits are made and I don’t really begrudge them that. Occasionally I will buy a lottery ticket though I seldom have even a single number come up. It’s a mug’s game. Some people pin their hopes on winning. You see them buying ten quids worth in one go. One ticket/ten tickets. it makes no difference.

Usually these days a garage is the only place  where you can buy coal or logs. These items take up a fair bit of space which garages normally have going spare.  It’s a lot cheaper to go to the coal merchant but that does require foresight and planning. I could also get it delivered but that would require a coal bunker which we ain’t got.

Garages these days can be a source of excellent coffee. Coffee Nation guarantees a good cuppa at just the right temperature to drink straight away. I normally have to let my tea cool down a bit if I’m making it myself. I would think the temperature bit from machine made coffee comes from a paranoia about being sued by people scalded by carelessness with their hot drink. An American export.

You might be wondering where all this is going. It’s reasonable. To wonder. But I haven’t finished rambling yet.

Garages often have carwashes attached to the side of them, usually just after the place you pull in for air and water. It’s been some years since I used one of these carwashes. I use a hand carwash staffed by hard working Eastern Europeans. They do  a much better job that is worth paying the little bit extra that it costs.

And finally our first child was born on a Boxing Day. The following day the only place open that could sell me flowers was a garage. They were starting to show their age but the woman in the garage picked out the best from the whole shop and made me a beautiful bouquet for very little money.

The attached PDF forecourt magazine is a page out of this month’s edition of Forecourt Trader. I have a very eclectic taste in reading material. Have a read. It’s all about problems garages face when their phone lines go down. Timico has lots of customers in the garage forecourt game (I’m talking hundreds if not thousands of retails sites). The broadband service that runs over the copper phone line is crucial to retail businesses because it carries their credit card transaction data. When the broadband goes down the garage is going to have big problems, as the article shows.

Our retail customers can get around this with a mobile backup solution. It’s called Mobile Access Management and runs over 3G within the same secure MPLS environment as the fixed line connection. If you own retail sites where the broadband line is mission critical you should be talking to us.

Read the Murco case study here.

Engineer mobile connectivity

Murco 3G Mobile Access Management case study – huge operational impact

Mobile data has been a bit of a theme recently on the blog. It must be trendy1. This is quite gratifying because when Timico was set up 8 years ago this Easter the mobile play was part of the vision of an overall convergence story that also included IP data networks and VoIP. At the time the sales pitch was the convenience of being able to source all your communications requirements from one supplier and on one bill. The approach back then was pretty revolutionary and stood us in good stead.

What we couldn’t foresee at the time was how the use of mobile data would grow and the effects of the more powerful mobile handset on our patterns of behaviour. That early decision to include mobile in the portfolio is now starting to payback and today we are announcing a case study with customer Murco Petroleum.

Last Autumn we got our first Ethernet connection into the O2 3G data network. The plan was to offer customers a cost effective multi-tentant version of the secure APN (Access Point Name – don’t ask) used by large corporations as private mobile Wide Area Networks. The resulting Mobile Access Management service is what is being used by Murco today as a mobile backup to their Timico broadband based MPLS WAN – the key infrastructure over which they carry secure payment transactions.

This MAM service has some significant benefits

Business mobile connectivity Net phones

Roll up, roll up, get yer acronyms here #MAM #MDM #CoIT #BYOD #MPLS #VoIP

Being a progressive high technology company we have a department that is dedicated to coming up with new acronyms. Ok that’s not an entirely fair description of the marketing department – engineering also does it 🙂

We have been upping the ante on mobile products in the last year or so.  The mobile world is rapidly moving on from merely the selling of phones, minutes and handsets (plus BlackBerry of course which has been an added value sell for years).

Unless you have been in a cocoon for the last six months (and you might)

Apps Business Cloud mobile connectivity

Security and Personal Mobile Devices: Consumerisation of the Workplace

How does a business cope with the proliferation of personal mobile devices in the office? Not just mobiles, but laptops and tablet computers too? The problem is not new, but it is growing.

Not so long ago consumers would peer in through the smoked glass panoramic windows of business to admire and envy the tools that were available to those inside. Access to the internet was for most people above a certain age first experienced at work. Their first PC, first mobile phone, first email, first mobile email! The list is a long one.

Today’s workplace is totally different. Staff bring in the toys they use at home and often frown or laugh at their employer’s old fashioned proffering. IT departments now gaze back out through the self-same floor to ceiling windows with reverse envy and spend their time worrying about the security of their network.

A study of a small business

I recently did some work with a UK company on their communications and cloud strategy. The company provided 67 of their 115 employees with a mobile phone; 50 BlackBerrys and 17 mid-range Nokias.

30 staff also carried with them their own personal mobiles. Of the 30, eight people also received a company phone and actually used their own phones for business purposes in preference to those supplied by the employer. A further seven staff who were not given company mobiles used their own phones to pick up company email making a total of 15 out of 30 personal mobiles that were used for work purposes.