(Originally published January 8, 2008)
Just about everyone can agree that protecting the environment is a worthwhile endeavor. The problem is, there’s not much money to be made in conservation—so the duty tends to fall to volunteers and nonprofit organizations.
By definition, nonprofits don’t have a lot of funds to spare on needs not directly related to their mission. They have to be just as scrupulous about conserving their own resources as the environment itself. That’s especially true for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Union (IUCN), a global conservation partnership representing 82 states, 111 government agencies, more than 800 non-governmental organizations and some 10,000 scientists and specialists from 181 countries.
It’s a Big World. CGNET and iPass Have It Covered.
The IUCN, better known as the World Conservation Union, has more than 1,100 employees and 10,000 volunteers based in 45 offices worldwide. And at any given time, hundreds of those might be working on a project somewhere in the field—which can often mean the usual airports, hotels and coffee shops, but often includes some of the most remote places on sea or land. As IT Manager Fayez Mikhail explains, “Our goal is that you’ll have your office with you wherever you go, even if that’s a national park in the middle of Africa.”
World Conservation Union must make the most of its membership-funded budget to connect its far-flung workers. That’s why they chose iPass channel partner CGNET Services International to provide global roaming Internet access. CGNET’s Traveler’s Access Service builds on iPass Mobile Office and the iPass global virtual network to provide simple, secure connectivity through wired and wireless networks in more than 160 countries—including more than 89,000 hotspots worldwide.
Bridging the Language Barrier
Field workers are provisioned with a laptop configured with a standard software image that includes the iPassConnect™ client. They can connect via dial-up, Wi-Fi or ISDN using a single, simple interface—no matter where they go—without struggling with different vendors, languages and connection processes. Just a couple of clicks using a consistent client, and they’re ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.
But it’s not just about simplifying life for fieldworkers. The folks in IT and Accounts Payable also enjoy having a single, easily manageable global connectivity solution. There’s just one vendor to deal with for any support issue, anywhere and anytime.
There’s also just one bill to pay—covering all the Wi-Fi service providers and mobile operators in the iPass global virtual network—including complete details for accurate accounting and internal billing. That’s important, as Fayez explains, “because each project has its own budget. If we can allocate costs correctly, it really lightens the burden for the operations group. With iPass, all global activity is itemized by user and session on a single invoice making chargebacks fast, easy and accurate.”
Green Is Good
Conservation is all about holding on to what you have. With iPass Mobile Office and the iPass global virtual network, the World Conservation Union can give its employees and volunteers simple, secure access from Uganda to the UN, and everywhere in between. And they can keep connectivity eminently affordable—so they have more green to spend on protecting the environment.