Telecommuting while cruising ?
We have set up our 4788 bayliner to do just that. We own a wholesale electrical parts distributorship.*It's just*the two of us taking orders and sending them to our warehouse for shipping. Being out of contact isn't an option.**We're basically shut down if we cannot answer the phone and access the internet.
We used a two pronged approach. Like others we have our cellular access. We have a sim card that is in the laptop, wireless printer,*etc...
We travel frequently out of cellular range (We boat out of Seward Alaska). We solved this issue with a KVH V3 satellite communications system. With this we have voice and internet world wide. The system wasn't cheap at around $14K, but we think it was well worth it. It was also a legitimate business expense and with the current tax laws we were able to capitalize it in the year of purchase.
From a legal standpoint it is owned by our business, and used by us, the employees to conduce a necessary business function while away from the office.
FYI, to get the voice to work out we log into our Cisco PBX at the office and forward inbound sales calls to either the cell phone or the satellite phone depending on where we are. We just bought the new VOIP PBX and are going to try out a IP phone and see how it works in a couple of months. If that works then we'll just have a normal desktop phone on board.
For corporate data access we use a Cisco EzVPN link back to the office network. All of our shares are available along with access to e-mail, fax etc... We did find out that Quickbooks doesn't work well over a remote link. something about the latentcy of the link. We just grab a copy of our company file then put it on the server when we get back.
Another thing we're thinking about is adding a Cisco router to the boat. We could then get a GSM based modem like the globesurfer 3 and tie it to one WAN port of the router and the KVH to the other. Then all we'd have to do is "prefer" the gsm link over the KVH to avoid the fairly high cost per MB of the KVH system.
If you are always within cellular range then of course the cellular voice and data system is your cheapest route. If you travel out of cellular range, the the KVH VSAT systems are the way to go.
-- Edited by ksanders on Saturday 11th of February 2012 01:59:42 AM
-- Edited by ksanders on Saturday 11th of February 2012 02:10:12 AM