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Deloitte & Touche/ICS: Consulting Teams Using Wireless LANs Increase Productivity

Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group/ICS is one of the world's top consulting firms. The New Zealand group in particular provides rapid SAP implementation services for the entire Australia and New Zealand region. (SAP is a German company that specializes in standardizing applications used across platforms.) To build on the company's reputation and continue its leadership in providing high-quality consulting services, the New Zealand group has begun using wireless LAN technology to further improve its consulting teams' efficiency and productivity.

Application: Mobile Network Access in Office and Consulting Environments

Consultants in the New Zealand office are using wireless LANs in the office to extend the company's wired network. For instance, they often use a wireless LAN to copy PowerPoint presentations from the server to their laptops before leaving the office to visit client sites. Because the New Zealand office is connected to the Australia office of Deloitte & Touche/ICS by frame relay, consultants can also use a wireless LAN to connect their laptops to the systems in Australia. Other common applications that consultants run through the wireless LAN include Netscape Navigator, cc:Mail, and Microsoft Schedule. Wireless LANs give consultants access to the network and to their work any time, from anywhere within the office.

"We use the wireless LAN for just about everything," said Martyn Halsall, Director of Consulting, adding that "cc:Mail is our main communication channel. We rely on the wireless LAN to maintain regular contact with our people."

The New Zealand group has been so pleased with the results of using wireless LANs in house that it has extended wireless LAN use to client sites. Consultants may spend a few days or months at a time at a client site; with a wireless LAN, they can establish a wireless connection to the client's SAP server in minutes, from anywhere in the client's office, and get to work quickly. Consultants can also use a wireless LAN to collaborate more easily in building a final report. Finally, because consultants don't have to actually plug their laptops into a wired network, it's easier for them to stop by the office and access the office network on the way to or from a client site.

Benefits: Mobility and Instantaneous Network Access

In the New Zealand office, wireless LANs give consultants access to the information they need, no matter where they are - in their own offices or in conference rooms.

At client sites, too, wireless LANs keep consultants from being tethered to a particular wired network connection, letting them service more clients with more flexibility. Moreover, consultants benefit from the instantaneous access that wireless LANs give them to their clients' networks. Because several consultants at a time can use a wireless LAN to access a client's server, consultants spend less time looking for and setting up wired network connections and more time auditing and consulting.

Wireless LANs make possible a clear improvement in efficiency, productivity, and service.

Installation Size

The New Zealand office of Deloitte & Touche/ICS has 45 laptops with wireless adapters, and five access points. The company plans to begin the second phase of the implementation in the next six months, expanding the network with 30 laptops and wireless adapters and three access points.


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