Fiver: Tech it up

As a proper geek, I love technology, and technology is not an area that is often spoken about in Unions past web providers. Here, then is a quick list of recent tech successes we have implanted that perhaps others can add to.

1. Aeromark GPS tracking
The GPS tracking module from Aeromark is fitted to entire fleet of vehicles (we have 9 at the moment). Unlike other trackers, this model has a 6 number speed dial unit, so student drivers are always able to call the Union, the RAC, University Security, etc if they are in need of assistance. The module tracks the speed and location of the vehicle, and if it goes over a certain speed, or leaves a pre defined area of the country then it will e-mail or SMS an alert in. The service provides an automated CSV report of how far each vehicle has travelled, when, which we then use for billing out buses.

2. G4S Cash 365
After years of counting cash several times before banking, we have taken the new automated system from G4S. The automated safes now accept coins and notes and count them as they enter. Bar supervisors are given their own access code to deposit their takings, they declare which till the money has come from, and then they deposit the money themselves. Clubs and Societies are also able to deposit money at any time the Union building is open, not just when a member of finance staff is available. This now means than when a £10 note is handed over at the bar, it is never counted by a member of staff. It enters the safe, G4S collect when the safe reports it is full, and is deposited into our account. The safe e-mails a daily Excel report to finance daily to declare how much is deposited or withdrawn. This has also hugely reduced our need to hold a float, as the safes can recycle change.

3. Dell Financial Services
OK, not actually a tech tip, more financing. Our experience with Dell leasing has been really positive. It does actually work out cheaper over three years than the equivalent purchase/depreciation model. The downside is you are committed to refreshing your devices every three years OR paying to finish the lease.

4. TT Xchange
If you have not already signed up for this, do it now. It is the technology donation site for UK charities, and the place to get reduced license fees on software.

5. EE Billing Manager
I am sure every mobile company has a variation of this, but something I see regularly asked online is policies on mobile usage. First of all, make sure you are on what used to be called the OGC ( ) contract to get the best price. The EE billing manager allows individual users to tag personal phone number, and so at each billing cycle produce a separate business and personal bill.

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