Brennan IT provides Australian businesses with innovative IT and Telecommunications solutions, ranging from cloud computing, IT services, data networking, IT security, and software development. With offices in Sydney, Brisbane Newcastle and Melbourne, the company has over 240 staff servicing all areas of Australia.
Recognising the benefits that an even more mobile workforce would have in proactively engaging with customers, Brennan IT turned to its own technology solutions to enable its staff to work with greater efficiency and flexibility. There was a business requirement to provide sales staff with remote access to real-time information and access to corporate documents for enhanced efficiency, fast quoting and reporting.
Brennan IT adopted a collaborative approach. Working with the sales teams, Brennan IT looked at the daily needs of its sales staff, who are constantly on the go and looking for faster and more secure tools to support daily tasks. In order to improve efficiency and productivity, the decision was made to roll out a mobility solution that would allow staff to keep ahead of their office work in between meetings.
Brennan IT sales staff were given Microsoft Surface Pro tablets installed with Windows 8 Enterprise, giving mobile users seamless access to the corporate network without the need to log in to the Virtual Private Network (VPN).
The tablets also came pre-loaded with a range of collaboration software, including LifeSize ClearSea and Microsoft Lync to facilitate collaboration through a range of instant messaging, video and whiteboard tools. Joel Wilson, a Newcastle based Brennan IT Client Manager states, “Working remotely from Newcastle, the installation of ClearSea on the mobile device has allowed me to provide a more personalised experience for my customers who are also in remote areas. It not only cuts down costs and travel time but also gives them a new window into what we can offer them.”
The installation of Microsoft SharePoint allows the mobile workers to work on documents when offline, and have them sync back to the Brennan IT network once they have connectivity. With numerous staff from sales to engineers working on the same project, SharePoint also encourages collaboration by allowing multiple people to work on a document at the same time.
Another aspect of the solution was the use of SkyDrive Pro, giving staff the ability to synchronise data from the corporate infrastructure to the local device in a secure fashion.
Microsoft DirectAccess ties the solution together while also providing robust security measures. Because the solution does away with the need for a VPN and allows staff to connect directly to the network from a single designated device, in the event of a lost or stolen device a remote wipe can be activated as soon as the device connects to the Internet. Unlike a VPN, DirectAccess also ensures that only compliant and specified resources can connect, allowing Brennan IT to ensure operating systems and antiviruses are up-to-date.
This is a solution that Brennan IT has rolled out to clients in the past, and Brennan IT’s Managing Director, Dave Stevens, said that the internal rollout has helped to demonstrate the true value of the solution to customers.
“The process of showing the client how productive the sellers are in the field has become a powerful sales tool in itself,” Stevens said. One of the most exciting features for customers has been Brennan IT’s internally developed sales quoting tool that has allowed staff to provide quotes to clients on the spot.
For now, it is the sales staff that have been given corporate provided Surface Pro tablets and the mobility solutions. The signs are so positive that Stevens said the company would look to roll them out to other groups throughout the organisation moving forward.
“We looked at the requirements of our staff, and chose the best possible device to suit their needs,” Stevens said.
The goal of the rollout was to allow the sales staff to attend 20% more meetings per week. Stevens said that while it is still early days, the signs are very encouraging.
“We’re allowing our staff to work more effectively and use their devices in their daily lives,” Stevens said. “The main takeaway of this project is the fact that you really need to put yourself in the shoes of the individual and go through every step of what they would need to do.”
But what is certain is that the Brennan IT staff are happy with the solution and with their heightened ability to work quickly and collaborate efficiently.
“We’re a couple of weeks on, and no one knocks back a brand new, beautifully configured device,” Stevens said. “It was met with great applause from the team and in the first few days they’ve been turning off their notebooks, handing them back and starting to change their work habits.”