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There Is Business Value Today

Less than a decade ago, salespeople used to factor into their plans a way to be near a pay phone at least once a day. Think of the inconvenience! Today, they no longer have to go out of their way to make a phone connection; the phone can be carried around with them. We'll see still greater improvements through mobile data technology.

Given the current state of enabling technology and the current state of the industry, let's take a look at the kind of business value that can be achieved through mobile enterprise solutions. There are four job categories that can benefit from mobile technology today:

  • Sales. Salespeople have a high need for accurate information in real time. The faster and more accurately they can answer the customer's questions, the faster they move toward closing a sale. With information at their fingertips, they're much more capable of up-selling and cross-selling.

  • Services. Field service engineers, utility meter readers, insurance claims adjusters, and generally any job function that requires several trips a week to a customer site to perform some service could use a good dose of mobile technology. Employees working these jobs need to be dispatched to each location—and once at the location, they need to have technical information on the fly.

  • Consultants. Consultants need to be able to report travel expenses and enter time and materials so that invoices can be generated. These employees have a high profile because they're usually in front of customers. Their jobs are to be experts in some area, and this expertise is greatly enhanced when the consultant has a huge source of information at his or her fingertips.

  • Traveling professionals. This is a catchall category of any employee who travels frequently (which includes all those job functions listed above) and needs a way of overcoming the overhead of wasted time brought on by such travel. These people need to be connected to their work, sending and receiving alerts when something critical requires their attention.

The rest of the company benefits as well. When customer-facing employees can post updates based on what they learn during customer visits, you enhance your most important knowledge base.

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