Datafree Connect, launched in South Africa this year to address the challenge of managing employee data allocations, is proving to be a pioneering, elegant solution to a range of data challenges being experienced by companies of all sizes, around the world.

This is according to Datafree co-founder and CEO Gour Lentell, who says more use cases are emerging than even the developers of Datafree Connect initially envisaged.

Lentell says customer trials in South Africa have been overwhelmingly successful in addressing the challenge of keeping remote and mobile employees connected without running up excessive data costs. However, it has now emerged that there is a market for the unique Datafree Connect solution in all markets, he says.

“In the US, for example, remote work expense reimbursement is an emerging area of employment law. At least 11 US jurisdictions now require businesses to reimburse employees for certain necessary expenses – such as data. But work-related data usage is exceptionally difficult to track and measure using traditional methods,” he says.

“With Datafree Connect, organisations would not have to manage allocations and reimbursements – they could simply make work-related apps and third-party apps datafree.”

In Australia, the group CEO of a major retail enterprise has expressed interest in using Datafree Connect to equip all staff with the digital tools they need to do their jobs. Lentell says: “It’s a pioneer product and there’s a market for it in all economies, with a value proposition for all businesses – big or small.”

In South Africa, e-hailing companies, logistics firms, couriers, maintenance teams and security companies are seeing the immense benefits of ensuring that field staff and drivers are always connected, Lentell says. The staff never go offline because they have run out of data, which benefits productivity and customer service.

The organisation never loses contact with teams in the field, never has to cover the costs of misused data, and no longer has to top up employee data manually.

For employees, this means they don’t need to use multiple phones or SIMs, they can continue to use their own number and preferred phone, and they never incur a cost for using work-related apps.

While Datafree Connect is currently available as a solution for mid-size to large businesses, Lentell says there is scope to make Datafree Connect available online as a prepaid solution, which would allow SME owners to give employees datafree access to the apps they need to work – such as WhatsApp, Teams and maps.

Datafree Connect allows organisations to quickly and easily set up datafree workspaces for their employees. When employees enter the datafree work zones on their phones, all the company apps and third-party apps they need to do their jobs are available at all times, whether they have data on their SIM cards or not.

Any app on Google Play can be made datafree. Employers can add or remove apps and employee numbers using a simple dashboard, where they can also track data usage and set alerts when data limits are reached. With no coding or integration needed, Datafree Connect can be set up for a large organisation in under a day.

“Lentell says this simplicity is one of Datafree Connect’s biggest hurdles. He says: “With Datafree Connect, it’s so clean and easy to ensure you pay for only the data you need employees to use, many companies struggle to grasp the concept at first.”

“They expect something this transformative to require lengthy procurement and integration processes. Solving the problem in such an elegant, simple way has never been possible before, so at first many employers are confused.”

However, as soon as they try it, it’s like a light bulb goes on. They realise they can simplify the process of keeping staff connected, and for the first time effectively gain insight into how much data staff need to do their work.”

“They can slash costs by only paying for the data they need, and they can make data allocations with precision. With no more broad, hit and miss data allocations, Datafree Connect is more efficient, effective and ultimately cheaper, because the organisation is limiting data use to only what employees need to do their jobs.”

“It has become our most popular product, and the first one most new customers are interested in.”

Lentell says the e-hailing and grocery delivery organisations now coming aboard the platform will overcome several challenges by doing so. “Drivers tend to run out of data because they browse social media and videos while waiting.”

“They may then turn off their phones to conserve data, which means customers can’t track them or contact them, which impacts the business. The cost of data also impacts drivers’ earnings in the gig economy. So by giving drivers datafree access to the apps they need, organisations are both making drivers happier, and improving customer service.”

Click here for more information about Datafree