Feeds

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

Facemail hookup hangout for those who don't have offices

The Power of One Infographic

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.