Feeds

O2 tries to one-up the Apple store with SMB lounge

Facemail hookup hangout for those who don't have offices

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The O2 Workshop is a small-business drop-in centre, carved out of the company's Tottenham Court Road store, which hopes to provide an Apple-store environment only for suits.

Just as Apple stores have become the place for trendy consumers to be seen hanging out, so O2 is providing somewhere for small companies who have given up the expense of a central London office but are tired of trying to balance three laptops on a Starbucks table when the team does have to meet.

Inside of O2's new space

That space comes in the O2 Workshop, within the franchised O2 store at 229 Tottenham Court road, where home workers can gather in semi-private meeting rooms, congregate in the private conference room or amass in the seminar room with three, nine and 29 colleagues respectively.

They can also relax in the lounge where they will be provided with free drinks and "tablet devices for browsing". We're guessing those won't be iPads. There's also free Wi-Fi throughout, in the usual way, and O2 "Gurus" on hand in case anyone fancies buying something while in the store.

Start-Up Britain and Enterprise Nation are signed up to help run weekly seminars for small businesses too, in case one's colleagues are insufficiently edifying.

The idea isn't a bad one. Companies based around home workers need somewhere to get together, and coffee shops aren't well-equipped. Many years ago motorway services suddenly sprouted offices-by-the-hour, for the same reason, though they didn't last.

It's certainly better than just trying to copy what Apple does, when Apple does it so well, and hopefully O2 won’t get anyone trying to order pizza, have a date or bring a goat into the building, though if things go well they might get an IPO or two. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.