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What does mobile working really mean today?

By Stephen Price, Head of O2 Gateway specialists, Telefónica UK

What image comes to mind when you hear the phrase ‘mobile working?’ A business executive working on a train? A customer service executive in a bank branch? A warehouse picker? Well, if you work in IT, your first thought might be the integration and management headaches that go into delivering seamless mobile working experiences.

If so, you’re not alone. Right now, I’m having numerous conversations with customers that go something like this: “The business wants me to support mobile and remote working. But knitting together networks and technologies is such a time and cost drain that I can’t provide a reliable service.”

The reality of mobile working in 2016 is that it embraces a huge variety of roles. Yes, it includes the traditional businessman or woman working onboard the 14:52 to Manchester Piccadilly. But it also covers a host of manual, managerial and administrative functions: from doctors and nurses, fleet management to logistics, retail to transport, and all those indomitable ‘road warriors’ who spend their days travelling from one assignment to the next.

For IT, the same questions apply no matter what the end user’s role. Can you deliver the highest quality of experience and quality of service to any device, anywhere? And how can you help people do their jobs better? Achieving these goals requires IT to have the right delivery platform in place. Apps and devices are, in the main, beautifully easy to use. But what happens when an app goes wrong during an engineer’s site visit, or five minutes before the CEO’s crucial presentation? The multiple links in the service delivery chain – from hosting company to mast to device and OS to the app itself – mean IT can easily end up bouncing around between suppliers who insist your problem isn’t their fault.

Well that’s where O2 Gateway comes in, our integrated platform for managing fixed, mobile and wifi connectivity makes these diagnostic issues simple to manage, because you can see every link in the chain from server to network to device. And because O2 Gateway is directly integrated to our cloud platform, you’ve got even more control, because you can host, manage and scale the services you deliver to the device, without them ever touching the public cloud or public internet. Gateway is more secure, too: O2 is the only UK operator whose mobile and WAN networks are CAS(T) certified.

I’ll give you a couple of examples how we’ve worked with customers to push the boundaries of mobility, and used O2 Gateway to deliver innovative mobility solutions that help businesses work better.

In one major retailer, O2 Gateway has enabled us to offer an SLA based on the customer’s ability to trade, which hinges on keeping their payment terminals and picking teams online. Because of the level of control O2 Gateway offers, we can align their service structure to their business structure – not just traditional measure like ‘uptime’. And in a high street bank, whose ‘branch of the future’ vision was held back by outages on their legacy wifi network, we’ve made sure customer service executives in the branch can use their tablets to deliver a personalised and highly available experience to customers.

Read about O2 Gateway or contact me if you want to know more.

Ready to scale up your business? Call an O2 business specialist on 0800 028 0202 or call free from your O2 mobile on 8002.


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