Local wine distributor, Australian Vintage, has moved to an improved distribution service model in an attempt to better connect its mobile workforce.
Chief technology officer, David Pegler, told CIO Australia the distributor, whose major brands include McGuigan, Tempus Two and Yaldara, pursued a new solution after the company’s mobile workforce became disenchanted with the coverage of its previous telecommunications provider.
“We have a number of regional areas across South Eastern Australia…including the Hunter Valley, Riverina, Sunraysia district, the Barossa Valley and the Limestone Coast.” he said. “That particular patch is where most of our employees are based.”
Pegler said some of Australian Vintage’s regional workforce previously depended on dialup internet speeds, with ADSL services failing to reach its often remote workforce.
“We had a solution with a competitor telco,” he said. “That solution didn’t really reach to all the places we needed to get to and didn’t provide an integrated backup to the network.”
Australian Vintage chose to deploy Telstra’s distribution model, which leveraged the provider's Next G coverage.
“It relied upon a competitor ADSL solution to support the network should network failure occur,” he said. “It was clunky, didn’t work all that well, it wasn’t efficient as it took around 5 minutes to cut over. The solution Telstra provided would cut over to the Next G solution and the user wouldn’t even know."
Pegler said his workforce have benefited from the change in internet and mobile service providers, with employees being able to work from home.
“I’ve got an irrigator who lives 40 minutes away from a vineyard and in the middle of the harvest season he has to monitor the water and sometimes he has to get up at two am and drive to the vineyard to have a look at the irrigation system,” he said. “Thanks to Next G, he’s [now] able to do that from home.”
The move to Telstra was relatively seamless for Australian Vintage, with Pegler saying that employees were barely disrupted and that an immediate improvement to coverage was achieved.
“There was a project manager assigned from Telstra who took care of everything that was required,” he said. “During the cut over, we probably did 3 or 4 sites a day and the end user didn’t realise they had transferred to the Telstra NextIP network.”
“I see networks as a bit like water in a tap. When you’re at home, you don’t really care where it comes from, it just happens,” he said. “It’s the same with networks. People don’t care whether its Optus or Telstra, they care about whether they can get connectivity to whatever they need wherever they are.”
Since the change to Telstra, Pegler said cloud computing and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) are two possible items on Australian Vintage’s IT agenda.
“We probably want to start looking at deploying some VoIP solutions across our voice network,” he said. “We’d probably see some increased savings thanks to a VoIP type solution.”
“Now that we’ve got a Next IP network, we can then start to look a cloud based computing.”
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