TNT Express, an express freight company, needed to move away from analog two-way radios. The company sought a solution that would meet its demanding communications needs - and at the same time - be compatible with current devices.
New Australian legislation dictated a switch away from TNT's analog two-way radios by the end of 2012. This forced TNT to investigate push-to-talk options out of necessity. The company wanted a solution that gave employees the ability to instantly respond when there were missed deliveries, overloaded drivers or bad addresses.
In responding to this challenge, Andrew Purkiss, applications development manager, looked for a novel way to solve the communications problem. One of the most important requirements was compatibility with long-standing rugged devices, used for barcode scanning and signature-capture. Purkiss also wanted a feature to temporary turn off communication while the driver is in a customer's building or any other situation requiring radio silence.
"When drivers are walking on premises to deliver freight, or when the scanner is in the hands of the customer to sign … they don't want conversations booming through the building," said Purkiss.
Zello developer Alex Gavrilov quickly designed what Purkiss calls "an automatic 'Do not disturb'" feature so drivers can maintain radio silence and avoid disrupting clients' environments. TNT obtained 2,500 Zello@Work licenses and installed them on existing Motorola rugged devices. Initially, Purkiss was skeptical about using PTT. Zello turned out to be a great fit because it's intuitive, functional and allows employees to talk in a channel. The team says it's straightforward to use Zello@Work.
TNT Express started in 1946 with just one truck. Today it has express freight operations in 65 countries with more to come. From the start, the Australian-based express freight company has relied on gutsy moves and spur-of-the-moment innovation.