|Mobile working project|| To provide sales representatives with access to vital information on the move so they can reduce reporting time, increase productivity and generate better leads
|Solution||Nokia 9500 Communicators running Pfizer’s IBM-developed Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software over the IBM WebSphere backbone, WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager, WebSphere Everyplace Access and IBM Lotus Sametime for instant messaging capabilities; the combined solution allows Pfizer’s sales force to seamlessly and securely roam between wireless LANs and GPRS or EDGE mobile networks
|Business benefits||Sales representatives can simultaneously run multiple applications to communicate with HQ and other sales representatives and to complete their reporting in the field in real time, rather than at home at night; this slashes reporting time, making them more productive
When Pfizer Finland's 100 sales reps go on calls, they rarely have more than ten minutes to convince doctors that their products provide the best treatment and should be prescribed as often as necessary. Because their face time with physicians is limited and valuable, they must thoroughly prepare for the visit by understanding the doctor’s speciality, the clientele and the general receptiveness to the sales pitch. They must also take careful notes of their encounter to better understand how to pitch that doctor and potentially others in the same practice. Pfizer Finland sales reps had been using Nokia 9210i Communicators. Now the company is piloting Nokia 9500 Communicators with IBM WebSphere software, which provides more efficient use of wireless LAN/GPRS/EDGE technology.
Pfizer Finland needed to give its field sales reps access to vital corporate
data while on the move, to reduce reporting time and generate more leads.
Pfizer Finland is using the Nokia 9500 Communicator to connect its reps wirelessly to each other and headquarters via the company’s AHAA CRM system, which was custom-developed by IBM Business Consulting Services. The Nokia 9500 Communicators connect to headquarters and to each other via IBM WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager and IBM WebSphere Everyplace Access.
For a mobile device, Pfizer Finland adopted the Nokia 9500 Communicator,
a smartphone with Wi-Fi, GPRS and EDGE connectivity.
WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager is middleware that allows an enterprise to extend its existing applications to mobile workers affordably. It offers seamless cross-network roaming, network choice, high security and automatic bandwidth optimisation. WebSphere Everyplace Access is IBM’s integrated mobile application platform, which connects to multiple applications, personal information manager (PIM), email, business data stored in databases and enterprise applications. Sales reps collaborate in real time using IBM Lotus Sametime instant messaging application.
The new IBM and Nokia system combines speed, efficiency and simultaneous application access. Sales reps can retrieve information quicker, and make more of their reporting data available to other key applications faster. For example, a sales rep visiting a doctor in the morning about arthritis medicine could use the device’s full keyboard to send an instant message to a colleague planning to visit the same doctor one hour later about the doctor’s desire to learn more about the latest high blood pressure medicine. The second rep could then be prepared with medicine samples, as well as detailed information about side effects, pharmacology and test results. The first rep could then file his report wirelessly with headquarters, where the information will go into AHAA so that other sales reps and managers will see topics that have been covered within each visit. This will allow them to cater to the doctor’s needs more effectively.
The IBM and Nokia solution provides an easy-to-use interface from the wide horizontal Nokia 9500 Communicator display. This enables fast reporting so that sales reps can focus on productive sales calls, not on late-night reporting at home. From the Nokia 9500 Communicator, sales reps can check email and view and edit attachments. They can also create presentations, adjust their calendars, locate crucial contact information, instant message colleagues and file information in the AHAA CRM system -- all simultaneously, without having to close other applications.
'This integrated solution allows our sales team to complete all administrative work in the field in real time, regardless of where they are,' says Elina Jaakowlev, Pfizer Finland’s sales director. 'They can now ensure that vital, accurate information about their most recent sales calls is immediately available to the rest of the company. That efficiency is one key reason we will stay ahead in the market.'
How it works
The Nokia 9500 Communicators connect with a single sign-on to headquarters via a virtual private network (VPN) gateway with IBM’s WECM. The gateway ensures that Pfizer Finland sales reps can securely communicate with headquarters over a mobile network, from the field. WECM automatically roams across networks to find the most cost-efficient network for transporting user data, and maintains IP sessions whether a user travels from a GPRS network to a wireless LAN to a GSM network.
Sales reps can synchronise data between their Nokia 9500 Communicators and desktops, and access corporate applications with IBM WEA. Now sales reps don’t have to worry about duplicating work, but they can still access the applications they need. WEA future-proofs Pfizer Finland by ensuring that the Nokia 9500 Communicators will be able to easily access any new applications the company deploys in the near future. IBM Lotus Sametime allows reps to send instant messages to one another via their 9500 Communicators.
Multiple system access   The IBM and Nokia solution allows Pfizer sales reps to simultaneously access the AHAA CRM system and email with attachments and other key applications wirelessly.
Intuitive user interface   The Nokia 9500 Communicator’s wide horizontal interface and full messaging keyboard allows sales representatives to enter information on the go. Preloaded with the AHAA, the Nokia 9500 Communicator presents data fields that are easy to access and read. Managing the data within the system is simple and fast, saving sales reps precious time.
|Mobile working project||To enable Sharp's enterprise-oriented handheld to easily integrate with open standards-based back-end applications
|Solution||A handheld platform that enables real-time access to business applications using industry standards -- helping organisations deliver the vital data on which mobile employees depend
|Business benefits||Potential boost to handheld market share by allowing customers to access enterprise applications from open standards-based environments; reduction in software deployment times; significant savings in both resources and costs; faster time to market with help from IBM
With the mobile workforce estimated at more than 130 million worldwide, organisations are increasingly turning to enterprise wireless systems to cut costs and increase efficiencies. Naturally, the market for providing these services is highly competitive, and companies such as electronics leader Sharp are continually seeking new ways to provide employees with affordable, uninterrupted access to corporate information and applications. In fact, Japan-based Sharp, with 46,633 employees generating over $16 billion in sales annually, is one of the biggest players in this arena.
Sharp needed to re-engineer its Linux-based Zaurus handheld to give mobile
workers real-time access to business applications.
A key offering in Sharp’s enterprise mobility product portfolio is the Zaurus, a handheld computer that enables users to easily access a broad range of business applications. Mobile workers can use the Zaurus for a variety of mission-critical tasks, such as connecting to databases to check inventory or accessing customer records, taking advantage of Sharp’s unique full-VGA screen technology. The Zaurus even allows users to quickly complete electronic forms with a built-in QWERTY keyboard, while also managing email and PIM functions while away from the office.
Although the Zaurus was successful, early versions of the product were based on a proprietary platform. This was a problem, because the platform couldn't integrate easily with customers' existing back-end software. As a result, developing mobile applications for Zaurus was a time-consuming drain on financial resources. To make matters worse, the proprietary platform couldn’t scale to handle full versions of back-end software, leaving users with mobile applications lacking the capabilities of their feature-rich enterprise counterparts.
Moreover, Sharp found that more and more companies were demanding mobile handheld devices that offered lower cost of ownership, easy deployment and the ability to run full versions of back-end software. Seeing its market space for the Zaurus potentially shrinking due to the limitations of a proprietary platform, Sharp identified a new alternative: embedded Linux and Java. 'To continue to expand our market share and stave off competition, we needed to make the Zaurus more flexible for corporate customers who want to easily provide mobile access to the wealth of data and applications that their office-based workers enjoy from their desktops,' explains Steve Petix, AVP of Sharp's mobile solutions group.
Rapid deployment options for enterprise applications
To resolve its problem, Sharp built an open standards-based version of the Zaurus that provides real-time access to business applications such as databases and email. The Zaurus SL-6000 brings a combination of leading mobile software and device technologies, positioning Sharp to leapfrog the competition. 'Targeted at enterprise users, the wireless-ready SL-6000 has a durable frame, a four-inch colour VGA display and an ergonomically designed hidden sliding keyboard. These features make it an excellent solution for any organization looking to empower mobile workers with critical corporate applications', says Petix.
Sharp's Zaurus SL-6000 incorporates a full VGA resolution display, 802.11b Wi-Fi,
a QWERTY keyboard, dual CF and SD expansion slots and USB host port in a durable
design optimised for enterprise mobile solutions.
Now, mobile workers in a variety of professions such as healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, finance and retail can run full rather than slimmed-down versions of popular Linux-based applications -- something that wasn’t possible with the previous proprietary architecture. For instance, doctors can use the Zaurus SL-6000 to gain real-time access to patient information and lab results while away from their offices. And because they have access to the same applications that they run on their desktop PCs, they’re able to review and evaluate an entire patient file, not just a snapshot summary of the information. This provides healthcare professionals with the comprehensive data they need to make well-informed decisions about continuing patient care.
'Organisations don’t have the resources to customise applications for specific handheld devices, because it takes a lot of time, money and effort,' says Petix. 'The Sharp Zaurus integrated with middleware from IBM delivers a robust platform designed to be flexible enough to use the same software packages that are already running within the organisation -- leading to big savings for businesses. And users benefit from having familiar business productivity tools to help them perform at their best while away from their desks.'
IBM WebSphere: tight integration with core systems
Sharp worked alongside IBM’s Pervasive Computing Group to create a comprehensive mobile solutions platform. The team integrated IBM WebSphere Everyplace Access (WEA) with the Sharp Zaurus running on Linux, creating a robust platform on which to run mobile enterprise applications.
WEA Client (seen here running under Windows Mobile
rather than Linux) provides mobile access to the
server-side WebSphere Everyplace Access software).
Based on Java technology, WebSphere Everyplace Access includes client-side software, WEA Client, which can be downloaded to the Sharp Zaurus, and server-side software that easily fits into the IT infrastructure, extending access to business processes and back-office data to mobile employees. According to Petix, 'Our collaboration with IBM has helped us to bring our WebSphere software-based solution to market quickly, allowing Sharp to offer a clearly differentiated mobile solution with definitive capabilities and functionality. This gives Sharp a competitive advantage by offering corporate customers a readily definable return on investment for implementing mobile solutions using WebSphere on the Sharp Zaurus'.
In using Linux as the underlying platform for the Zaurus, the team has an open, scalable and high-performance foundation, which will benefit developers porting back-end applications to the platform. 'In addition,' says Petix, 'organisations can tap into the large community of open source developers, usually a very cost-effective approach, to help them make their business applications available on the Zaurus.'
An open solution for mobile enterprise users
With the Linux-based Zaurus SL-6000, Sharp expects users not only to reduce software development time, but also to save resources and costs when deploying the solution enterprise-wide. 'It’s very easy and cost-effective to implement the Zaurus within an organisation because it provides the same application access as a notebook PC, for instance. This will help to boost the return on investment for wireless implementations, as business won’t have to invest in multiple devices,' says Petix. Positioned as a mobile data terminal, the Zaurus SL-6000 helps mobile employees boost their productivity with instant access to their business applications using a familiar, easy-to-use interface.
Petix concludes: 'Our alliance with IBM has helped us to bring a powerful and expandable enterprise solution to customers. And by using WebSphere technology and Linux, we have the perfect platform on which to build our next-generation wireless solutions -- helping to ensure our position at the head of the pack.'
|Company||Danish State Railways
|Mobile working project||To improve the productivity of mobile employees by reducing costs and improving customer service
|Solution||Handheld computers (PDAs), WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager and WebSphere Everyplace Access
|Business benefits||Employees have easy access to job information compared to the previous paper-based system; ticket selling extended to the train itself
Danish State Railways, commonly abbreviated as DSB, is an independent public corporation providing customers with train services and related travel activities. DSB carries approximately 156 million passengers a year and operates 95 per cent of passenger train traffic in Denmark
Danish State Railways replaced the hassle and confusion of employees'
paper-based systems with mobile access to job information via wireless-
connected handheld devices.
With a mostly mobile workforce, including train conductors and engineers, DSB needed to improve job efficiency in the field in order to reduce costs and improve customer service. Previously, the only way that mobile employees could receive information about their day's work was through printed reports that highlighted train assignments, schedules, rail conditions and repairs. This manual system was difficult to manage, inefficient and could easily become outdated as the day progressed. Therefore, DSB wanted to implement an online, mobile solution to give its employees access to up-to-date job information.
IBM responded to the customer's need by implementing a wireless solution based on WebSphere Everyplace Access and WebSphere Everplace Connection Manager. The WebSphere products provide DSB's 6,000 mobile employees with access to up-to-date job information from the railway's central servers via handheld computers (Personal Digital Assistants, or PDAs). WebSphere Everyplace Access provides the software infrastructure to support the mobile applications both online and offline. It also provides the connection to the customer's back-end systems. WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager provides a performance-optimised mobile VPN (Virtual Private Network) with roaming capabilities -- a crucial component to maintain connections while trains are on the move. The offering also includes a unified client to support online and offline operations for handheld devices and tools to develop further mobile applications. In addition, the IBM solution allows employees to access schedule information, email and PIM (Personal Information Manager) accounts, record passenger counts and sell tickets using card billings -- all through their handhelds.
Benefits of the solution
With the IBM wireless solution based on WebSphere products, DSB's mobile employees now have easy access to important job information without the hassle or confusion of the paper-based system. The IBM solution has completely eliminated the customer's manual, error-prone systems, terminated widespread paper usage and extended ticket selling to the train itself. This has produced great improvements in employee productivity and performance. DSB is looking at other options for wireless technology, including selling tickets and providing real-time train arrival and departure times through mobile phones and the Internet.