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Last Update: Friday October 20, 2017

Key Idea: Make Life Easier

Brookstone Technologies sells to the companies that want to make it easy for employees to work anytime and from anywhere.  Here co-owner John Stockbridge does business from the golf course.  

Key Question:

A: 

Brookstone solves a problem for remote and global workers.  Like all software businesses they take the mental processes of the brain and impart them to machines. In the hands of Brookstone Technologies, computers have even less respect for space or time. Virtually instantaneously this software keeps simultaneously updated every possible device -- no matter where it is -- that needs to hold information about your business. You decide on the security levels and who is to have access to it.

Q: Where is technology, particularly software, taking us?

A: Connectivity within a business is one of the key ingredients for business intelligence. Business intelligence keeps one focused, commits marketing-sales-service-support resources wisely, and contributes to the bottomline. A business can increasingly be seen to be like a human body. If you increase the interconnectedness of all the neurons and synapses firing in your brain, there is an alertness, a focus, and an increased intelligence. In the 1950s a fellow by the name of Turing asked the question about intelligent machines. Robotics has definitively come of age -- remember that drone demonstration in Iraq -- and how ubiquitous these machines have become. So science fiction is just a precursor of the many-possible future realities; now we need the discretion, judgment and intelligence to decide which of these possible realities we want to welcome into this physical world.

Q: Why would we go to Perth to find a small company doing such big things?

A: Perth is the most-remote, big city (over one million people) in the world. For a Perth-based company to grow it must have employees outfitted to work remotely. Also, we know that a physical location does impact thinking and therefore innovation. Look at history ... the English were always sailing off to find products they didn't have while Americans, until the past 50 years, have been occupied with the task of discovering and exploiting the resources within. Remember Disneyland and the song, "It's A Small World After All." The Disney ride carried us through a magical, made-up world with child-sized mannequins dressed in clothing from places we had never been. Today it is easier for most of us to sell to global customers than it is to go to Disneyland.

Think about it

What product or service can you invent to make your customer's lives easier? What are the trends in your industry? Are you a leader or a follower? Would it help to be out front?
 

Clip from: Brookstone Technologies of Australia

Run Your Office From Your Pocket.  Be anywhere!  Be everywhere!

Perth and Sydney:  Meet the folks of Brookstone Technologies. They created virtual office software so they could be anywhere and still have their entire office with them.  

Perth is the most remote, largest "big city" on earth (three hours by airplane to another city over 1M), yet it is in a time zone that is home to half the earth's population!  It is known as GMT+8 (Greenwich Mean Time plus 8 hours). This time zone includes Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, and more.

John Stockbridge and Errol Pollnow merged two struggling information technology companies to form what is now a strong, creative enterprise with customers all over the world.

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Brookstone Technologies (EP)

Errol Pollnow, Founder

20/443 Albany Highway

+61 (0)8 6467 7788

Visit our web site: http://www.brookstone.com.au/

Office: +61 (0)8 6467 7788

Business Classification:
Information Services

Year Founded: 1987

Make Life Easier

HATTIE: (In the Studio) Hi, I'm HATTIE Bryant. Innovation and the struggle to bring new ideas to market is a continuous theme in our series, and this week you'll meet more pioneers.

Just as in 1996 we were telling you about going global by putting up a Web site, today we are telling you about the technology that will allow you to work conveniently from anywhere in the world. Once again, as we see over and over, it is small companies, little groups who present to the world most of the breakthrough thinking.

To learn about this, we flew 14 hours from Los Angeles to Sydney, then another four and a half hours to Perth, Australia.

(Voiceover) It's all about Wi-Fi, WIreless-FIdelity, 802.11-A-&-B, the buzz language of a shrunken planet.

The founders of Brookstone Technologies, Errol Pollnow and John Stockbridge, work with their team to serve up software which has made ubiquitous computing a reality. These programmers have made it possible for us to serve customers faster and better, capture and manage all forms of communications and manage projects in a collaborative environment with ease of use being their unique selling proposition.

ERROL POLLNOW: I started thinking about a Virtual Office kind of system as early as 1993, and in those days it was a theory because the technology wasn't quite there. And as technology began to emerge, the opportunity arose for me to have a prototype built. And so I spent, I guess, since 1993 onwards working on the concept of the electronic conduct of business and the Virtual Office.

JOHN: So, Hattie, one of the reasons we invented this program is so that I could spend more time ... (Editor's Note: He swings his golf club; we think he hit the ball. What follows may have been Hattie just being polite.)

HATTIE: Nice!

JOHN: ...on the course. Our customers buy a product called the Brookstone Virtual Office. And it's a suite of software applications. And what it's designed to do is to manage and treat the knowledge inherent in a company as an asset. And what we empower people to do is to carry out their day-to-day business regardless of where they are.

(Voiceover) So they can operate in an mobile environment, and that means that they can use handheld computers, they can use laptops, they can use an Internet browser at an airport and just come in and perform any function at that location that they would be able to do in their office. Let's have a look. I can check my e-mail. Yes, I've got some mail. Actually I need to get back to this guy, so I'll just quickly send him a mail in reply. His e-mail to me is important...

HATTIE: Right.

JOHN: ...so now I'll file that away under his contact name in the Virtual Office. And because I'm wirelessly connected through my phone, that's going to be on my server when I get back, either home where I've got another computer or at my office.

HATTIE: So you're telling him...

JOHN: I'm telling him I'm unavailable at the moment because I'm on a course.

HATTIE: Oh, OK.

JOHN: And he's going to think it's a training course.

ERROL: The technology that I needed to do the Virtual Office kept getting stronger and more relevant to be able to do it more effectively, and that was encouraging and supported the endeavor to carry it through.

HATTIE: I've heard of these types of solutions. What makes Brookstone better than the others?

JOHN: We like to think because it's usable and because it makes somebody's life easier. So what will happen, for example, if I create a meeting report and the date's in the future, my electronic calendar's automatically updated, my personal computer is updated, my laptop computer's updated. My portable computer's updated. It winds up on my Palm device if I'm using that type of product. From one entry.

HATTIE: So I enter data once?

JOHN: Yes.

HATTIE: ...and it populates to these different files on my desktop.

JOHN: Yes.

HATTIE: Wow!

 

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