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A Secure Solution, And That's No Bull

A Secure Solution, And That's No Bull

When your office can be anywhere between home and the middle of a cow paddock, you need some innovative technology to keep in touch.

For one of New Zealand's largest training providers, the Agriculture Industry Training Organisation (ITO), Telecom's Private Office Network and Mobile JetStream services are helping to provide the answer.

Agriculture ITO has more than 30 training advisers who work from home, mostly in remote rural areas. About 80 percent of their work time is spent away from their home bases, liaising with trainees and training providers on the farm.

The ITO also has three regional offices, in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch, which need secure, reliable access to the main database at head office in Wellington. Telecom's Private Office Network provides this secure access, as well as allowing the training advisers to check their emails and update course information and trainees' records from just about anywhere in the country.

"It's a real private network," says IT manager Myles Gustofson. "It offers us security because we only have one path to the outside world, so we can firewall everything properly. It's scaleable. We recently upgraded our speed and we can add people to the network very, very quickly."

Private Office Network is supplemented with Mobile Jetstream. Training advisers carry laptops equipped with Gtrans cards, meaning they can log on to the network without needing to hook up to a phone. Gustofson says this provides a flexible alternative to relying on rural land-line communications.

"When you pick up the phone and talk to your trainers and you can hear the electric fences going off on the phone, you realise it's probably a good idea to have another way of communicating," he says. "And the mobility is massive. Our people spend so much time away from their base. They are mobile workers. It just fits the job."

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