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Location--and speed. (Wireless).

Improving productivity was first on Frank O'Connor's list of priorities for YHD Foxtons' wireless network. Mobile technology is a key ingredient for the young company's competitive advantage. It utilizes a fleet of purple PT Cruisers--equipped with laptops, printers and wireless modems--to connect to 2G (CDPD, CDMA) wireless data networks.

Low speeds, however, caused the firm's 35 mobile real estate agents to avoid using wireless access. "Our promise of high customer service based on our technology was not being met. Our business model was at risk unless we found a solution," says O'Connor.

YHD staff searched for an acceleration solution that would enable effective operation at much faster speeds, with the ability to coexist with existing network infrastructure and all crucial applications, including Microsoft Exchange Email Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, a home-grown CRM application, the GoToMyPC.com service, Cisco 3.2 VPN software, Cisco PIX Firewalls and antivirus programs. For data security reasons, the product had to operate behind YHD's firewall, and support Web browsing on Internet Explorer without a VPN connection.

According to O'Connor, "Speed and interoperability were the major criteria in our decision process." AcceleNet from Intelligent Compression Technologies offered both. It also could be licensed and run out of YHD's Long Branch, NJ, data center rather than delivered as a hosted service, which would have made accelerating behind-the-firewall data impossible.

With advanced compression and protocol optimization technology to speed wireless data transmissions, the product works by applying two techniques at the transport layer of the OSI model, taking data (e.g., Web pages, e-mails with attachments) and compressing their size by temporarily removing redundant data, and optimizing the otherwise TCP-inefficient wireless connections to remove latency inherent in wireless networks.

Implementation took a week, including Compaq server setup, loading AcceleNet client and server software, ensuring proper network connections and interoperability, running tests, and deployment to beta agents and then across the entire YHD agent base.

YHD paid approximately $30,000 for the total solution, including AcceleNet software, the computer hardware and the implementation. Calculated ROI of just four months--based on time savings, employee productivity, customer responsiveness and service differentiation--proved that by having agents on the road and connected by fast wireless access connections, greater productivity and responsiveness are translating into higher sales and margins for YHD.

For more information from Intelligent Compression Technologies: www.rsleads.com/211cn-263
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Publication:Communications News
Date:Nov 1, 2002
Words:388
Previous Article:Water data flow accelerated. (Wireless).
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