The price of linking rental centers to the main branch via long distance telephone lines or a leased circuit from your phone company is not a cheap undertaking. Particularly for a company with many branches.
Alert-IMS' latest product, the Alert WebTop, connects remote locations, remote workers and mobile laptop computers to a rental center's main location - all while reducing, and sometimes eliminating, the expense of costly leased phone connections and expensive telephony gear.
Connection charges range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and the flat monthly fee for each remote location can run into the hundreds of dollars, depending on the local telephone company.
The WebTop uses the Santa Cruz Operation's Tarantella Express program to create a Web-based multi-store infrastructure to connect locations and people. With a PC and Internet access, remote stores and users can access the main branches' system any time, any branch's place.
"The WebTop allows you to access rental center software and Windows applications that are available at the main store whether it be word processing or e-mail," says systems consultant Chris Redfern. "The main store's computer acts as a Web server and icons on the rental center's WebTop home page allow you to access functions at that store."
Tarantella monitors and automatically adjusts to network load changes.