“Wherever we go, we have strong, fast and steady Wi-Fi”
‘Office on Wheels’ is the most recent top-notch innovation of Limburg based bus company Staf Cars. “In this mobile workstation we need a strong and constant Wi-Fi connection. And that’s just what Venn Telecom offers us”, says René Dirkx, head of Sales and Marketing at Staf Cars.
Staf Cars is a Lommel based coach and bus company founded in 1952 by Gustaaf or ‘Staf’ Cremers. He started with one single coach. 56 years later, his son Paul is leading a company with 140 busses and 220 employees driving more than 11 million kilometres each year. Within two years, Staf Cars will move to its brand new headquarters in Overpelt with room for over 300 busses.
Staf Cars has all kinds of coaches and busses for school transportation, outgoing and incoming tourism, VIP packages and so on. It is also the only Belgian member of the Global Passenger Network (GPN). The company prides itself on its flexibility, quality and innovativeness.
Wi-Fi on the road
In its search for the newest technologies, Staf Cars was looking for a way to implement wireless internet on its busses. “About two and a half years ago, I was contacted by Arne Valaert of Venn Telecom. We got to talk and I explained him what we wanted. A few days later, he offered us a ready-to-use solution: the Venn router. However, we didn’t immediately take the bait. We contacted some of Venn’s competitors and made an in-depth analysis of their offers. But the Venn Telecom package was the most favourable. “They offered better agreements and most important, they showed a flexibility not matched by one the other companies”, explains René Dirkx.
Right now, Staf Cars has Wi-Fi in five of its busses: three routers are placed in VIP coaches, two others in standard touring busses. These routers can be moved to each of the company’s busses, according to requests. The bus company is very pleased with the Venn solutions, but wanted more. “Recently, we won a contract for a so called ‘Office on Wheels’. That is a bus used by a company in Diegem to pick up its employees at a place near their home. Instead of standing still for one or two hours and getting frustrated in one of those famous Belgian traffic jams, they step on the bus and immediately start working.”
Top quality wireless internet
The ‘Office on Wheels’ is equipped with 24 first class seats, individual work tables, USB connections, power supply, flat screens, free tea or coffee, LED mood lighting, … To allow 24 people to log on to their employer’s network, you need a fast, strong and steady Wi-Fi connection. “We explained this to Venn and they suggested us to use their Venn Office solution. This solution contains four 4G modems and uses Proximus, Base ánd Orange connections in a managed service package. Together they offer a top-quality Wi-Fi connection, wherever we may be. After a successful test we started this innovative project. The employees of our client are pleased to avoid standing still for a few hours each day, and our enthusiast client has noticed an increased efficiency of its staff. We believe in this formula. Later this year, we will start a network of ‘Offices on Wheels’, together with eight other bus companies. So, everybody is happy, thanks to Venn.”
To fill up the gap between the morning and the evening ride, Staf Cars rents its ‘Office on Wheels’ for educational goals. “A few weeks ago, we had a client who wanted to organize a training for dentists. So, we parked our mobile office at the parking of a big shopping mall. The teacher and the local dentists gathered there, logged in at the bus, followed the training program on our 50-inch flat screen, and approximately two hours later they returned to their dental practice. That is the kind of flexibility we like to offer and thus ask from our partners. Venn Telecom offers that all the time.”