For our latest Hume business case study, we spoke with Greg Caleo from OEG – the Outdoor Education Group, about how the Eildon-based company is communicating with customers and staff across the country.
The Outdoor Education Group is one of the largest providers of journey-based outdoor education in Australia. Over the last 27 years we have delivered over 2 million student days in the outdoors. We have around 140 permanent staff in Victoria and NSW, and run school programs across Australia. These run from one-day to four-week expeditions, including dedicated Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey programs. The majority of these programs are journey based and operate in public land, such as National Parks and State Forests. They typically involve activities such as bushwalking, canoeing, cycling, sea kayaking and rock climbing.
Tell us about the web technologies you are using in the business
We have a public-facing website, providing information on our programs, outdoor education resources and contact details. The site also has a clients-only area where students, staff and parents can access information about their own programs.
Behind the scenes, we run various pieces of technology to communicate between offices and staff. Landline phones using a VOIP system, a large intranet, and VPN access to the network are some of the ways we communicate internally.
What benefits have you gained from using these tools?
As OEG is managed from many different locations, communication and coordination is key for us. Having resources able to be accessed from different parts of the country is very important for us to be able to deliver outldoor education. In particular, having our scheduling and prediction systems widely available has allowed people to be more aware of the “big picture”.
How do you plan to use high speed broadband in your business when the NBN arrives?
Just having actual high speed broadband with our current systems will be a big improvement, both at the server and client ends. It will mean that users can access bigger “chunks” of data at a time. We would also be hoping to improve our videoconferencing abilities, as well as being able to have more media content available online, like videos and podcasts.
What advice do you have for other businesses who want to maximise their use of web technologies?
Running businesses from rural areas can be made easier by having good systems. These need not be enormous applications; sometimes just being able to share and view calendars is a big step up! It is important to pick the technologies and applications that suit what you are trying to achieve, then put time into them so that they work in the best way for your business. Regardless of the different needs we have, a reliable high-speed network will improve all types of use!
What’s your business up to online? If you run or work in a business in the Hume region and would like to share your story, contact us here.