Ashurst pushes e-mail

International law firm Ashurst is using a “push e-mail” system from Vodafone with Blackberry mobile devices, to increase...

International law firm Ashurst is using a “push e-mail” system from Vodafone with Blackberry mobile devices, to increase efficiency and productivity among employees.

Mobile communication, especially e-mail, is a key part of the service that Ashurst communications team leader Paul Beckwith delivers to Ashurst employees at all levels.

Previously, mobile communication was delivered via a mixture of GSM-based dial-up solutions using laptops, PDAs and mobile phones as data modems. But Beckwith decided to consolidate all these solutions into a more efficient mobile e-mail Blackberry service from Vodafone.

Vodafone UK worked with Ashurst’s communications team to install the Blackberry Enterprise Server solution alongside Ashurst’s own Microsoft Exchange corporate e-mail infrastructure.

Selected Ashurst employees have now been supplied with the Blackberry 6710 wireless handheld, a device which allows them to read and respond to e-mails in real-time, and which is fully synchronised with the inbox on their desktop PC. The data to and from the
Blackberry is carried by Vodafone’s GPRS data network.

Beckwith said, “We originally trialled the service with ten of the senior partners. It became pretty obvious after a week that they weren’t going to give the devices back.”

“The feedback I get from the partners in particular is that BlackBerry has changed the way they work," he added.

“If they are off-site with a client they can deal with their e-mail there and then, including vital calendar appointments or reading Word and Excel attachments.

“Some say they like to clear out their inbox on the train on the way home. The fact that they don’t have to carry their laptops everywhere is a big bonus to them,” Beckwith said.

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