Application in the field

Taking your IT onto the road

How to choose vehicle docks that maximise your productivity

When is a laptop or tablet more than simply another piece of IT kit? Easy – when it’s docked inside one of your commercial vehicles.

Think about it – a safely secured laptop or tablet turns your vehicles into mobile offices or workstations. With enhanced connectivity, integrated power management solutions, and job management capabilities, they’re capable of supporting all the tasks and operations expected of your mobile workers whilst remaining connected to the business-critical data and applications you hold in your back offices.

But choosing the right docking and mounting solution for vehicles should be a carefully considered decision.

A decision that takes into account:

  • Your organisational objectives
  • The safety of your operators
  • The services you provide
  • The tasks demanded of your mobile workers
  • The budget-saving support you expect.

Productivity, wherever and whenever

This was precisely the decision-making process followed by Hertfordshire Police when it was looking to revolutionise its policing.

They needed a solution that answered a key question.

How can we equip our patrol cars with the latest mobile technology to enable officers to be more effective and spend more time in the community?

So, they turned to Panasonic’s 'ProServices' team – who worked closely with the police force’s vehicle partner, Vauxhall Special Vehicles – to develop a tailored docking solution.

The police force wanted to deploy the latest Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets in 170 of its Vauxhall police cars to effectively provide officers with access to their own connected mobile police stations.

While docked, the Panasonic Toughpad – featuring the latest Windows 8 operating system – is accessed via a touchscreen display in the cabin of the vehicle. With a powerful antenna fitted and 4G connectivity, police officers now have access to high-speed internet from both inside the vehicle and up to 100m away from it.

"The feedback has been staggering," said Detective Chief Inspector Damien Kennedy. "Officers are telling us that this is the best piece of technology for policing in the past 10 years. We are overwhelmed with stories about

how the device has helped find missing people with dementia, retrieve stolen vehicles and fight crime. The Toughpad tablets and related technology are enabling us to help the community and prevent and detect crime in ways that have never been possible before."

Such efficiency as a direct result of Panasonic technology isn’t just limited to the public sector however. We’ve been helping field workers across the nation to better access applications out in the field. 

“We wanted the vehicles to become the engineer’s office when they arrived at the job. The Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 is docked securely and out of sight in the back of the vehicle. There is then a screen, keyboard and speakers in the front of the cab that can be pulled down and used when the vehicle is stationary. The system is also connected to an antenna in the vehicle for effective 3G communications when in the community and for WLAN updates when in the utility company’s depot.”

Andrew Pettiford, Transport Manager, Wales & West Utilities

Of course, productivity is just one of numerous issues to be considered when deciding how and where to dock your mobile technology in commercial vehicles. For a full exploration of what you need to be thinking about, take a look at this in-depth report, published recently by Panasonic or contact us today to discuss your requirements.