Brennan adopted a collaborative approach. Working with the sales teams, Brennan 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 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 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 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 to ensure operating systems and antiviruses are up-to-date.
This is a solution that Brennan has rolled out to clients in the past, and Brennan’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’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 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.