Essentially a lease-to-buy scheme, the idea is that for an initial one-off payment and then monthly instalments it will be possible to have a notebook computer and a Vodafone GPRS Internet connection without a large up-front outlay.
At the end of the agreed leasing period, which is set at two years, there are three options: return the notebook to Fujitsu Siemens and end the contract, make a final payment and buy the notebook being used outright, or trade up to a new machine and begin the monthly payment cycle again.
Fujitsu Siemens is making several of its notebook models available under the scheme. A typical offering, with an opening payment of £99 and subsequent payments of £89 a month, would provide a Fujitsu Siemens LifeBook laptop or Tablet PC (with a usual list price between £1,139 and £1,478 ex. VAT), plus 10MB of data (excluding international roaming and texts), Wi-Fi access via The Cloud, 24/7 telephone support, insurance, and Microsoft Office applications preinstalled. The data packages can be upgraded to higher volumes for increased monthly payments.
"The idea is to help small businesses make the first steps into wireless working, boost their staff productivity and keep their IT costs predictable to help manage their cash flow," said Andy Barker, head of volume product marketing at Fujitsu Siemens Computers.
"Some analysts have suggested that there is a 40 percent efficiency improvement to be had equipping a mobile worker with a communications-capable notebook rather than an unconnected one," he said. "If we assume this feeds through to a productivity improvement of 20 percent, that equates to a day a week per mobile employee."