As Microsoft enters the push e-mail arena, business users have emphasised that the main benefit of mobile technologies is to give end-users access to line-of-business applications when they are off-site.
Alan Powell, IS director of Hanover Housing Association, said his business mobile applications benefited all staff who needed to collect information face to face with clients or customers, or those conducting structural or street surveys. “The key is to look at your business processes and see where double entry is occurring or there is paper data capture.”
Ruth Rosenthal, director of IT at Age Concern, said that for a charity such as hers, which provides care and alarm services to older people, “the ability to monitor someone using a handheld device, to have immediate access to medical history, medication used and other related data would be invaluable”.
Jenny Sener, director of ICT at property support services group OCS, said her company had, over the past 18 months, found benefit in rolling out mobile data solutions to support managers and operational staff to deliver business support services to customers.
For the first group of knowledge workers, who rely on e-mail, diary and contact management, she said OCS had rolled out Blackberry successfully 18 months ago, providing synchronisation with office-based Microsoft Outlook systems through Blackberry Enterprise Server 4.0.
Sener said the business benefit of the system was that it constantly pushed information in real time to key workers, so customer and business issues could be resolved more quickly and efficiency.
“The ability to push detailed information to this community while they are remote from the office in the UK and abroad reduces the costs of mobile phone calls to resolve issues or pass information,” she added.