SOURCE: Dexterra

June 10, 2008 07:15 ET

Safelite AutoGlass Uses Dexterra's Mobility Platform to Develop and Deploy Productivity-Enhancing Field Service Applications

Open Platform Enables Safelite to Rapidly Integrate New Applications and Mobile Devices Without Software Code Changes

BOTHELL, WA--(Marketwire - June 10, 2008) - Dexterra Inc., the business mobility company, announced today that Safelite AutoGlass, the largest provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services in the United States, has successfully developed and deployed new mobile applications for its field service personnel based on Dexterra Concert™, an open development platform that supports any mobile device. Safelite successfully developed its client applications with support from the Dexterra DevNetwork Program, a comprehensive partner enablement program that provided them with access to Dexterra's platform and tightly integrated development tools, application design assistance, and ongoing mentoring services.

Safelite AutoGlass, founded in 1947, provides mobile vehicle glass repair and replacement services throughout the United States. The company has 2,000 field service technicians who service more than two million customers a year. Before Safelite implemented its Dexterra-based solution with RIM BlackBerry devices, these field service technicians used paper work orders, maps and cell phones to communicate with dispatchers as they moved from job site to job site.

"It's common in service organizations that work days are pretty fast paced. Dispatchers are trying to determine exactly when technicians will arrive and leave a customer site, and are constantly interrupting technicians for status updates while they are in the middle of working with a customer," said Rod Ghani, AVP business development, technology applications for Safelite. "We knew there were significant gains to be made in customer service and employee productivity if we could help dispatchers get a handle on technicians' location and status without disrupting technicians in real-time."

Safelite decided to make their field operations more efficient by equipping technicians with handheld devices that would allow them to communicate via text message, process work orders electronically and check parts status immediately. But while Safelite has a strong internal application development team, the company had no previous experience in developing mobile business applications. To achieve their mobile and application development objectives quickly and painlessly, the company turned to Dexterra.

The Dexterra DevNetwork Program was created specifically to help development partners quickly build mobile applications based on the Dexterra Concert platform. It gives developers the ability to use independent development environment (IDE) tools such as Visual Studio and Eclipse, and provides application design and ongoing mentoring services to ensure applications are successfully deployed.

An initial challenge Safelite faced was that many of its legacy back-end systems are developed internally, which can make integrating with new applications and devices difficult. However, the company worked through this issue using a middleware layer developed by Safelite. This enabled Safelite to quickly build multiple mobile client applications on top of the Dexterra platform -- without changing their legacy software or writing low-level code to handle data transport.

Thanks to ongoing mentoring from Dexterra, Safelite completed their application development and began rolling out their new mobile applications to field service personnel. By capturing Safelite's field service processes, the new mobile applications give users access to all the functions they need, whether they are connected to the network or offline. A streamlined, intuitive application interface also helps users come up to speed quickly, typically in just one hour.

"Our partner enablement program gives companies like Safelite an enormous head start in building their mobile applications," said Jim Lambert, vice president of marketing at Dexterra. "Using our technology tools and services, developers can focus their efforts on creating mobile applications that address specific business needs for themselves or external end users. By sharing our expertise with Safelite, we were able to help them capture their field processes quickly and accelerate the application development cycle."

Today Safelite's field service organization has a real-time information flow that enables them to balance the service pool and allows their technicians to work more efficiently. Service technicians in markets where the technology has been implemented use their wireless handhelds to automate processes that used to be paper-based, including sending work orders, credit card processing, printing receipts, and obtaining customers' signatures. This reduction in paperwork saves them as much as two hours every day, significantly increasing their productivity and job satisfaction. The national rollout of the technology will be completed market by market in the coming year.

Because of Dexterra's open platform approach, Safelite also has the flexibility to swap out mobile devices without changing their software code, a key selling point for the company.

"The mobile world doesn't wait," noted Ghani. "Through the course of this project, we've replaced three very different handhelds and made a number of changes in the back office. With Dexterra, our code worked flawlessly every time. This means we can satisfy our current needs and still be ready for the future."

About Safelite AutoGlass

Safelite AutoGlass is part of Belron US, a multi-faceted vehicle glass and claims management service organization based in Columbus, Ohio, and a subsidiary of Belron S.A. The company is composed of three major business operations that include vehicle glass fulfillment services, operating under the trade names Safelite AutoGlass®, Auto Glass Specialists®, and Elite Auto Glass™; windshield manufacturing; and Safelite Solutions® fleet and insurance claims management services. The company employs more than 7,000 people throughout the United States.

About Dexterra

The business mobility company™. Dexterra provides a broad portfolio of mobile applications built on its open mobility platform, Dexterra Concert, that enable businesses worldwide to manage and optimize their mobile workforces. Dexterra supports the largest selection of mobile devices and integrates with the widest range of enterprise back-office systems in use today. Dexterra's end-to-end solutions help companies large and small experience rapid deployments, greater returns, higher customer and user satisfaction, and a longer lifespan over any other competing solution.

Dexterra has operations in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific and a vast network of global partners including Accenture, AT&T, IBM, Motorola, RIM, Telstra and Vodafone. For more information, visit www.dexterra.com.

©2008 Dexterra, Inc. All Rights Reserved. "Dexterra" is a registered trademark, and "Concert" and "The business mobility company" are trademarks of Dexterra, Inc., in the United States and other countries.

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