Kristina Long, Cohn & Wolfe for Panasonic
(415) 365-8556 direct
SOUTHERN MARYLAND ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE DEPLOYS RUGGED TOUGHBOOK® COMPUTERS TO FIELD CREWS
Improved Connectivity Enhances Efficiency and Power Restoration
Secaucus, NJ, February 11, 2012 – Panasonic, an industry leader in rugged, reliable mobile computers, today published a new case study highlighting Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s successful deployment of Toughbook® 31 fully-rugged laptops, which has greatly improved the efficiency and productivity of field crews, especially in times of power outages. Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) is a utility power provider responsible for providing electric service to roughly 150,000 customers in Southern Maryland.
Before moving to a mobile computing solution, SMECO depended on radio dispatches and hand-written notes to communicate and direct mobile crews. SMECO recognized an improved dispatch system was needed in order to efficiently track and manage work orders within the company’s outage management solution.
Ultimately, SMECO selected Panasonic’s fully-rugged Toughbook 30, with integrated mobile broadband and GPS, for its durability and functionality in and out of vehicles. After attempting to use standard VPN software, SMECO knew it needed to consider a more reliable solution as VPN connections were dropping frequently in the field. SMECO selected NetMotion Wireless Mobility XE® mobile VPN software.
The Panasonic Toughbook and Mobility XE solution allows SMECO’s field crews to be more productive by reducing lost VPN connections and maintaining continuous connectivity. In addition, the integrated GPS in the 125 fully-rugged Toughbook computers allows SMECO to assign jobs to field crews in real time, based on their current locations.
“We’ve seen improvements in field morale, as well as the efficiency of the crews themselves, which has solidified management’s decision to mobilize its crews,” said David Timmerman, Network Administrator, SMECO. “We’ve stuck with Panasonic and refreshed with the Toughbook 31, next-generation fully-rugged laptop, because of our experience with the Toughbook 30. Its ruggedness and ability to be used in the field on a regular basis and in extreme weather conditions, such as Hurricane Irene, has been invaluable.”
Efficiency has improved greatly for day-to-day meter readings and credit card collections, as well as providing service in disaster situations. Crews can now address outages much faster, as one manager can click a button and send 20 jobs to one crew instead of one-off jobs. It has also reduced the oral communication, because field workers are no longer constantly calling into headquarters, which allows orders to be received faster with less room for error.
The full SMECO case study and video with NetMotion Wireless can be viewed on the Panasonic Solutions for Business website.
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For more information on Toughbook mobile computers, go to http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/laptop-computers.asp.
Panasonic Solutions for Business
Built on a celebrated engineering foundation, Panasonic architects business technology solutions that help build a better world. Customers in government, healthcare, production, education and a wide variety of commercial enterprises, large and small, depend on integrated solutions from Panasonic to help them acquire, manage and interpret the information that drives innovation. The complete suite of Panasonic solutions addresses unified business communications, mobile computing, security and surveillance, retail point-of-sale, office productivity, high definition visual conferencing, visual communications (professional projectors, displays, digital signage) and HD and 3D video production. As a result of its commitment to R&D, manufacturing and quality control, Panasonic engineers reliable and long-lasting solutions as a partner for continuous improvement. Panasonic solutions for business are delivered by Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, which is a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC).
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About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Based in Secaucus, NJ, Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and services for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC), and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is committed to becoming the electronics industry's leader in green innovation by its one-hundredth anniversary in 2018. In the 2012 Interbrand Annual Best Global Green Brands ranking, the Panasonic brand jumped four spots to number six: http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/Best-Global-Green-Brands/2012-Report.aspx. As part of its continuing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, Panasonic Corporation of North America will relocate its operations to a new eco-efficient office tower adjacent to a mass transit hub in Newark, NJ in 2013. Information about Panasonic Eco Ideas initiatives is available at http://panasonic.net/eco/ecoideas. Information about Panasonic and its products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is also available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.