By Daniel Hunter

With the nation hoping for a hot August Bank Holiday this weekend, O2 Business has today unveiled the UK’s most high-tech fleet of ice cream vans which, in an industry first, can now be tracked by customers in real-time.

Guilford-based Tony Fresko Ltd, which operates a fleet of 19 vans, has been given a ‘technology makeover’ by the small business experts at O2 to demonstrate the tangible benefits that technology can offer to companies, no matter the size.

The traditionally low-tech business had previously used a largely paper-based system to manage the running of its operations. After a full assessment of the company, O2 Business equipped Tony Fresko with the latest 4G enabled smartphones, tablets and cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 software. The new suite of technology now allows drivers to digitally map their routes, manage costs in the cloud and plan weddings, fêtes and other events away from the office.

Recent research commissioned by O2 Business shows that over half (54%) of business owners worry their performance will suffer if they don’t embrace the use of technology. And despite 84% of respondents admitting they understand that digital technology has the power to make them more productive, 51% of small businesses are yet to upgrade their existing systems with the latest tech.

In a move set to change the face of the ice cream van industry, hungry customers of the Surrey-based Tony Fresko firm will now also be able to track their nearest van on their smartphones in real-time. The ’Ice Cream Van Tracker’ app is available for free on all Android smartphones to download from today (Tuesday).

The app, which is being trialled for one month, allows customers of Tony Fresko to instantly locate their vans, without having to rely on hearing the familiar chimes of ‘The Teddy Bears Picnic’ or ‘Greensleaves’.

Andy Newland, Managing Director of Tony Fresko Ltd. said: “I’m proud to say we have the most high-tech ice cream fleet in the UK, and working with O2 Business has allowed me to see the real business benefit.

“Having a tablet means I can now work on the move, which not only makes me much more productive, but importantly saves me time. The ice cream van tracker is great for customers as they can now come to me rather than the other way around. But it also means that I can see where my fleet of vans are at any one time, so I can make sure we’re covering a decent area and I get the reassurance that everything is working well.”

Paul Lawton General Manager of SMB at O2 Business said: “At O2 we’re passionate about helping small businesses make the most of the latest technology. It’s great to be able to give such an iconic British business like Tony Fresko a technology makeover so they can work smarter, faster and more efficiently.

“We want to help more small businesses to grow and thrive in an increasingly digital Britain and our work here demonstrates exactly the kinds of benefits our customers can have. We’re encouraging small businesses across the UK fulfil their potential by embracing the latest technology.”

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