Telef贸nica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

Telef贸nica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG
Michael Rauch

Remote Support for POS Systems

All sites across Germany under control

The chain outlets of big name brands shape the German retail industry. The accustomed quality of products and services is available all over the state 鈥 whether in the North, South, East or West. Customers can instantly find their way around uniformly designed stores and know what to expect in terms of service, whichever store they visit. The structure is coordinated from one central location. This is where all information, as well as the network for IT systems, is located. Without a direct exchange of data, business would be unthinkable nowadays. The various PC systems, distributed across the whole of Germany and even into neighbouring countries, are administered via remote access: configuration and remote maintenance are carried out by technicians, who do not need to leave the headquarters. This is also the case for the mobile network provider o2.

Following the merger with the Spanish Telef贸nica group, o2 embarked on an intensive process of expansion. What was once the least developed provider amongst the German mobile networks reached second place in a recent ranking in Connect publication, based on network coverage, reliability and voice quality. Add to this the merger with telephony provider Alice, whose services are currently being integrated into the o2 brand. Personal contact to customers is facilitated via 160 o2 stores across the country and almost 850 partner stores, run as franchises. They receive the basic technical facilities from o2, for example, o2 cash register systems, and have access to the extranet in all stores. A total of over 1,000 individual cash registers are used in the o2 partner stores. It was only a few years ago service technicians would install the hard- and software on site. But nowadays the hardware is distributed by logistic service providers and configured via remote access. Through this step alone, they were able to save 70% of the expenses for travel etc. The systems are ready for operations in the stores within no time.

Ready in a maximum of 15 minutes

For the support of the terminals at the Point of Sale (POS), o2 has, since March 2009, widely implemented the solution Remoted from FastViewer GmbH & Co. KG. This enables total remote maintenance via an internet connection. A server with extensive security characteristics, for example, HTTP access with an SSL protocol and 256-Bit AES encryption, was inserted in the so-called FastViewer Tunnel.聽This is operated directly by FastViewer as part of Full Service Providing and could also be hosted at the customer’s wishes at o2.

Following delivery of a terminal to each shop, it only needs to be unpacked and connected.聽Immediately, the service staff can start the configuration from the headquarters in Munich.聽“The solution is completely plug & play.聽The terminal is ready in 5 to 10 minutes, without any of my colleagues having to leave the house.聽The o2 partner shop owners not only profit from this speed when opening, but also during maintenance or when eliminating errors through our dealer support鈥, reports Michael Rauch, project manager for POS systems at o2.

Specifically for these requirements, FastViewer developed an own rollout tool that automatically reads all required parameters from the PC upon launching.聽A mini file, with all the required applications, is included and comes with a preconfigured internet browser. With the rollout tool, the FastViewer remote client can be activated on the PC, even without needing administrator rights.聽Without entering a session number, any number of computers can be controlled anywhere.

Daily business overview

The team especially appreciates the speed of implementation for the solution.聽The FastViewer Remoted software is minimal in build and therefore very fast.聽All individual adjustments were usually completed by FastViewer within a short timeframe.聽“I have never heard from FastViewer that something would not work!”聽We normally have the result by the next day.聽Totally convincing support鈥, confirms Michael Rauch.聽Compared to the previously used software FastViewer Remoted offers a much better overview in the user interface.聽All of the approximately 1,000 terminals are shown and can be selected via a simple search 鈥 for example, by merchant ID or terminal serial number.聽Because this data is also collected by the rollout tool at the first launch, inventory is also relieved.聽The corporate network can be searched for all stored information, and it is also possible to form groups.聽Search results are already displayed when typing the search term.聽The company now has plans to implement the FastViewer solution to help serve new and existing customers quickly and competently in its branches.