Come rain or shine, South East Water’s technicians are out on the road to ensure that water keeps flowing to customers’ taps, so it is vital the equipment they use is able to cope in these harsh conditions too.
The utility company has invested over £200,000 in 77 new specialised laptops and technical support for its field staff to make sure that whatever the weather the technology won’t let them down.
The new laptops from rugged computer manufacturer Getac, can endure the rigours of life on the road, will survive being bumped about on journeys to remote locations, left out in the rain, or even stored on the dustiest of building sites and they will still keep working.
South East Water is one of the first companies in the country to buy the new Getec V200 model and is looking to the technology to help improve technical efficiency and therefore customer service. Leading mobile technology company, Ryzex, is managing the roll-out of the V200’s throughout South East Water’s field staff and this includes ensuring that the laptops are fully loaded with all relevant software and settings necessary to allow the technicians to use the computers straight out of the box.
A bespoke vehicle mounting system creates a unique overall solution for these 12inch convertible rugged notebooks, which increases the resilience of the unit, and the speed of the new laptops enables the company’s technicians to gain faster access to corporate IT systems such as work management and GIS (Geographic Information System).
Martin Giel, operations systems manager at South East Water, said: “The technology used by Getac makes the computer dust proof, waterproof and shake proof and the model is also able to work in more extreme temperatures than standard laptops, which given the recent cold weather is going to help our teams keep working even in the snow.
“The Getac V200 was one of three laptops our field technician’s trialled over a month long period and were chosen because they will be a great benefit as they are quicker, more reliable and achieve a better 3G / GPRS signal than our previous models,” he added. “This will improve the efficiency of our technicians and coupled with the additional peace of mind that Ryzex gives us with a fully managed solution including a comprehensive battery maintenance programme, this will help improve customer service.”
Damian Penney, European sales director at Ryzex, said: “South East Water has signed a 3-year comprehensive emergency replacement programme which will ensure that costs, downtime and disruption are kept to a minimum. Ryzex are fully committed to delivering on-going services that will help the field technicians keep going regardless of conditions.”
Instead of being constrained to using out of date software and communications technology, South East Water is able to use cutting edge technology thanks to the Getac equipment. All the company’s current range of notebooks uses the latest® Core™ Intel i7 processors and integrated 3G wireless technology to ensure the fastest processing power on the market.
Richard Beaumont, business development manager at Getec, said: “As specialists in the utility industry we recognise that working in the field presents many problems for standard laptops. All Getac devices are designed to withstand the rigours of field operation, including protection against drops, knocks, vibration, water ingress and wide operating temperature.
“South East Water is investing in this technology to maximise the effectiveness of crews out in the field and with the new V200, we are confident that the company will be able to see improvements in operations and customer service,” he ended.