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Vodafone NZ unlocks workplace of the future with smartphone access

Computerworld NZ staff | Sept. 24, 2014
Telco has revealed plans to pilot the HID Global's mobile access solution.

Vodafone New Zealand has moved a step closer to realising the workplace of the future after revealing plans to allow employees to physically access the workplace, using just their smartphone.

Fresh from entering an exclusive partnership with security ID provider HID Global, the telco has revealed plans to pilot the company's emerging mobile access solution.

Recent Citrix sponsored research, the Workplace of the Future, reports that in the coming years staff members will use an average of six devices to do their work, fuelled by the bring-your-wwn-device (BYOD) trend currently dominating offices across not just New Zealand, but the world.

Using contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) or Bluetooth Smart, Vodafone's app functions as a swipe card, with thirty employees testing the app at the company's Viaduct office in Auckland.

"Mobile access is an easy and secure way for Vodafone to manage staff access in the workplace, and delivers a new level of convenience for employees," says Grant Hopkins, Head of Enterprise, Vodafone New Zealand.

"People are much less likely to forget their mobile phone, and ultimately this reduces the costs around access cards -- many of which are lost and can be expensive to replace."

Hopkins says the "forward-looking" technology allows remote provision access for third-party contractors, removing the use of a swipe card and allowing the telco to disable access when it's no longer required.

"The user needs to know the phone has access capability, the phone's passcode and know how to activate the key," Hopkins adds. "So physical security is better than a traditional swipe card."

Citing the venture as a "further advance" in the industry mobile wallet project, Hopkins says the trial follows Vodafone's pre-commercial launch of mobile payments application, SmartPass, earlier this year, allowing customers to make purchases using their smartphone.

"We are shifting towards a more innovative workplace standard -- as seen by the $50 million investment in our new South Island headquarters in the Christchurch Innovation Precinct," he adds.

"Vodafone staff embrace these trials, which offer them a glimpse of the workplace of the future."


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