Orange has announced with Microsoft the launch of a marketing and technology partnership to accelerate the adoption of mobile data by businesses. The partnership will offer a free trial of Windows Mobile-based Orange SPV C500 smartphones to enterprises of more than 50 employees, with the aim of making mobile data accessible to staff beyond the boardroom.
Using a range of devices, including the Orange SPV C500, the partnership will enable businesses to link their Microsoft Exchange e-mail servers to their Orange phones at minimal cost. Users of Microsoft’s Exchange 2003 Server benefit from then over the air synchronisation which will automatically update Outlook® email, Calendar and contacts direct to the phones enabling maximum productivity on the move. This joint marketing initiative will allow businesses and organisations of more than 50 employees to apply for a free month long trial of three Orange SPV C500 smartphones.
Alastair MacLeod, vice president of Business Solutions, Orange UK said: “Mobile email used to be seen as the reserve of senior executives or field engineers – our partnership with Microsoft opens up the benefits to anyone who works outside the office. Company employees will have access to email and data in a simple, familiar, cost-effective and easy-to-use format whilst away from the desk. Companies will be able to improve productivity by enabling workers to convert ‘dead’ time into dealing with the ever-increasing volumes of data communications.”
Nick Barley, business & marketing officer, Microsoft UK said: “As a company we are committed to helping people work smarter where the workplace doesn’t have to be a physical location anymore. People can work collaboratively on the move, in disparate locations and continue to be business effective. Orange and Microsoft’s partnership is not just the typical marketing hype. It is delivering smartphone technology at a low price point, not just to privileged boardroom executives, but also to employees throughout an organisation.”
Microsoft and Orange believe that many productivity improvements can only be achieved by bringing mobile data to businesses. The partnership agreement delivers a familiar Windows interface, interoperability and mobile services that are an extension of existing systems, not an addition to them.
The integration of data and voice on mobile handsets cuts the need for additional data devices. Windows Mobile-based smart phones, such as the exclusive Orange SPV C500, transform the economics of mobile data and are in themselves extremely cost-effective.
Mobile data is coming of age and will enable workers to stay on top of their voice and data communications in one easy-to-use device. Gartner expects that by 2007, more than 75 per cent of EU and US workers will have the option of immediate access to e-services and their employers' intranet portals for more then 80 per cent of their non-working time. With email volumes growing at an annual rate of 40 per cent, giving employees more time to deal with email messages couldn’t have come sooner. By offering mobile data in a familiar Windows format at mass-market prices, Orange and Microsoft aim to unlock this productivity increase for the wider economy.
Research undertaken by NOP* on behalf of Orange showed that 60 per cent of business leaders agree the workplace of the future will involve less face-to-face interaction with colleagues, pointing towards greater interaction outside the office with customers, suppliers and others.
“With technology costing less and doing more, Windows voice and data devices allow millions of office workers to spend less time at the desk and more time with partners and customers,” said Alastair MacLeod. “It will broaden the range of staff who can be productive on the road, close deals and generate new revenues.”
Those interested in free smart phone trial should visit www.microsoft.com/uk/orange or call 08000 37 48 48 for more information.
*The NOP business leaders survey was conducted on behalf of Orange and DEMOS. NOP interviewed 500 business decision makers using a CATI methodology.