Sascha Klaus, Owner and managing director, Garage Klaus
What should you do if your ICT is only running in first gear – but you urgently need to accelerate? With Smart ICT and a mobile Internet connection from Swisscom, Garage Klaus can finally step on the gas again.
Garage Klaus’s sparkling, shiny showroom in Düdingen is a car lover’s dream. Here, the latest Alfa Romeo and Jeep models truly look their best. On the floor below, the mechanics are at work. It’s peak season for tyre replace- ments. It is 43 years since Alfons Klaus turned his own dream into reality and founded a company that is now managed by his son, Sascha Klaus, who has invited us for a chat. What challenges does the modern car industry place on a garage when it comes to ICT, Mr Klaus? “A lot more than we could meet ... until recently”, he replies.
Slowed down by old hardware and a sluggish Internet connection
ICT used to give him sleepless nights, says the company owner. Manufacturers and importers had demanded more and more. “We have to connect the cars to the factory for diagnostics using an OBD scanner and laptop or download the latest updates and install them in the cars ourselves. Alfa Romeo want to be able to play videos on the big screens in the showroom directly from Italy.” Sascha Klaus looks back with little fondness: “Our ICT simply couldn’t cope. The server and laptops were outdated, and we couldn’t transfer data within the company quickly enough.” The main problem, however, was the Internet connection. A few kilometres outside Düdingen, the garage was connected via copper cables that could only provide a bandwidth of 2 Mbit/s. Downloading updates took hours and diagnostics were often impossible. The situation got so bad that Sascha Klaus sometimes sent his customers a link so they could download an update at home themselves.
ICT with added horsepower
“We almost had an existential problem”, reflects Klaus. Together with neighbouring businesses, he looked into getting a fibre optic connection for the local area. This proved to be unrealistic, so he had to find an alternative solution. He called Swisscom partner Net26, which proved to be the big turning point for ICT at his garage. Sascha Klaus explains: “Michel Sahli from Net26 immediately understood what I needed. Together with Swisscom, he came up with a solution and showed it to me shortly afterwards – a genuinely worry-free package that con- tains everything we need to do our work quickly.” The new Internet connection forms a key part of the all-in-one ICT solution. Instead of a cable connection, Garage Klaus is now linked to the Internet via Swisscom’s 4G mobile network – with speeds of 50 Mbit/s instead of the previous 2 Mbit/s. More horsepower will follow: “I’m already looking forward to 5G”, says the garage owner.
Fully equipped with year-round customer service
Even the fastest Internet connection is not much good if the other components of the ICT engine are slow, which is why Garage Klaus put its old server into retirement and updated its PCs, laptops and telephone equipment. The new hardware was provided as part of Smart ICT, Swisscom’s comprehensive solution for SMEs. Every three years or so, the garage automatically receives the latest generation equipment. Its entire IT infrastructure is now operated by Swisscom all year round. Sascha Klaus no longer needs to worry about his data either, since it is stored in the secure Swisscom Cloud and can be used on any device. He also gets his Office software from the Swisscom Cloud, while industry software is integrated into the new system.
All systems go
The switch to the new solution was completely seamless, says Sascha Klaus. “We were able to continue working immediately. Now, if we need help, we call the Swisscom hotline and, if necessary, Net26 would provide further on-site support.” The boss sums it up: “It feels great to be looked after by professionals and to be able to work so smoothly. ICT isn’t giving me sleepless nights any more.”