SOURCE: Antenna Software

Antenna Software

June 04, 2009 08:56 ET

What the Fortune 500 Know About Real Business Mobility

Antenna Software Offers Top Five Tips for Success From Premier Customers

JERSEY CITY, NJ--(Marketwire - June 4, 2009) - Fortune 500 companies are the "best of the best" in business. Ranking on this prestigious list signals sales and revenue numbers that are among the highest in the world. Beyond that achievement, most of these companies have something else in common -- a long-term vision that places enterprise mobility at the core of IT's mission to help improve employee effectiveness, increase customer satisfaction, gain competitive advantage and increase supply chain efficiency. To execute this strategy, many of these organizations rely on Antenna Software, a leader in delivering real business mobility to the world's most demanding enterprises. In fact, many of Antenna Software's customers are Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), Xerox, DIRECTV and AT&T.

Mobile devices have infiltrated the enterprise, and today's most forward-thinking organizations are taking steps to ensure that they leverage them as a strategic differentiator, instead of merely an IT-management headache. Rather than focusing on mobilizing one-off solutions, which have to be updated every time a new device or application enters the mix, a platform-approach preserves the value of existing IT infrastructure and modernizes systems and processes for a new age. The result is an open, flexible architecture that serves as a central hub for all the elements of mobile deployments today and in the future.

Recognizing the value of mobility early, many Antenna customers are reaping the benefits of mobility during this difficult economic climate. Here are the top five tips compiled from these leading organizations on mobilizing their businesses:

1 -- Treat Mobility as More than a Project: Having a central integration point is critical. One-off point solutions (from one device to one CRM system to one workgroup, for example) can certainly satiate immediate mobile requirements, but are rigid and inflexible to ever-changing business demands and inevitably stretch IT resources. A mobile platform approach that is flexible and agile will allow a company to scale multiple mobility initiatives across the enterprise, expanding and changing as required.

2 -- Choose the Right Device for the Job: With a plethora of mobile devices on the market, including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm and iPhone, it's vital that IT can support and manage them all. A mobile platform gives companies "device independence" -- meaning IT can embrace devices available today and prepare for what comes tomorrow.

"The speed of technology change is so fast -- the architecture of the Antenna Mobility Platform prepares us for anything," said Gregg Bullen, program manager, Xerox Systems, Strategy and Technology Group.

3 -- Think Outside the Application: Instead of simply mobilizing the back-end application, think about how combining other complementary tools and value-added services will set a new standard for employee effectiveness. For example, device features, including cameras, bar-code scanners, signature captures and GPS and communications tools such as phone, e-mail and mobile IM capabilities create real competitive differentiation and help to drive user adoption.

"The latest device capabilities, including multimedia, open application development platforms and location-based services, all represent significant technological improvements to the usability of mobile applications," said Sheryl Kingstone, research director, Yankee Group. "For a CRM project to be successful, mobility must be an integral part of the strategy. Companies that add mobile CRM to a smart phone for their end users increase user adoption from a poor 30 percent to a very successful 70 percent adoption rate."

4 -- Involve Your Users: It may take some employees a bit of getting used to the idea of using a handheld wireless device for anything more than phone calls. Some are concerned about "Big Brother" and others are concerned about their big thumbs. Getting to the point where the application really "sticks" and becomes indispensable to employees takes thorough management of user expectations, ongoing training and support, an openness to feedback and a willingness to continue to improve or change the application based on these assessments. That's how to get the fastest and surest ROI.

"Training is critical to our success. It is vital that everyone understands how to use the mobile application for the breadth and depth of its transactional capabilities and not just as a simple 'information tool,'" said Erik Walters, manager of technical operations, Sales Operations Organization, DIRECTV.

5 -- Look to the Cloud to Contain Costs: Nine out of 10 Antenna customers choose to deploy their mobile applications as a service. They realize that having a hosted solution provides tangible, measurable benefits -- lowering capital expenditure by offloading the hosting, managing and monitoring. A well-planned mobility strategy can help to reduce costs in many areas of the business -- from IT resources for end-to-end management to hard dollars saved through operational efficiencies.

"Our resources are doing development on the cloud at Antenna," said Kevin Flowers, director of enabling technologies, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE). "That gave us the ability to jump start everything. We knew this was the right strategy to transform our business to a real-time, event-driven value chain."

"In this extraordinary economic climate, budgets are getting tightened and IT initiatives are being scrutinized," said Jim Hemmer, president and CEO, Antenna Software. "In this context, mobile 'point solutions' are providing a quick fix, but ultimately creating a false economy. Only strategic mobility shows clear evidence of cost containment and effective long-term asset and resource management. Instead of waiting for the economy to get better, smart companies are bringing enterprise-wide mobility to the top of their priority list and making things better for themselves."

About Antenna Software

Antenna Software provides the Antenna Mobility Platform™ (AMP), which enables organizations to design, build, deploy and manage mobile applications quickly and cost-effectively. Delivered as a managed service or on premise, AMP supports multiple enterprise systems and mobile devices from one unified environment. Powered by AMP, Antenna's AMP™ mobile business solutions provide field sales, service and IT support organizations with pre-built, configurable mobile applications that help improve field productivity, customer care and profitability. Having a decade of success with Global 1000 customers, Antenna is recognized by industry experts and leaders for its outstanding commitment to quality and service.