Customizable Solution

By Carol Ellison  |  Posted 2004-10-25 Print this article Print

For one, a customizable solution that can work across applications and that adds a measure of usability on the client device. 2CRM uses a thick-client technology that enables local storage on BlackBerry, letting field employees use and interact with the information even if theyre out of network coverage. Len Emmick, vice president of sales at Air2Web, calls the thick-client technology "one of the most compelling and beneficial uses of wireless technology available to organizations today." Its a marketing statement, to be sure, but to the extent that 2CRM can turn Research In Motions BlackBerry into a more robust computing device, its right on target.
Interestingly, one of the first major deployments of 2CRM has nothing to do with CRM. CSX Intermodal, a transcontinental transportation service provider, is using it as a field service application to track and dispatch shipments.
Drivers notify dispatchers of the status of shipments when they are picked up and dropped off. Dispatchers advise drivers of the whereabouts of waiting shipments, and any of the companys 425 drivers can respond to determine who is in the proximity to pick them up. And its all done through their BlackBerrys. The beauty of the solution is, naturally, that it was not built from scratch, as so many integrated mobile solutions are. For years, representatives from Federal Express and UPS have told eager audiences at industry conferences and expos how they built the impressive field-force systems that made them the nations top couriers. Their message was: Expect costs and complexities. Thats the "new" that 2CRM brings to an old concept and, unlike the bridal adage, theres nothing blue about it. Check out these other articles by Carol Ellison. Check out eWEEK.coms Mobile & Wireless Center at for the latest news, reviews and analysis.

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Carol Ellison is editor of's Mobile & Wireless Topic Center. She has authored whitepapers on wireless computing (two on network security–,Securing Wi-Fi Wireless Networks with Today's Technologies, Wi-Fi Protected Access: Strong, Standards-based Interoperable Security for Today's Wi-Fi Networks, and Wi-Fi Public Access: Enabling the future with public wireless networks.

Ms. Ellison served in senior and executive editorial positions for Ziff Davis Media and CMP Media. As an executive editor at Ziff Davis Media, she launched the networking track of The IT Insider Series, a newsletter/conference/Web site offering targeted to chief information officers and corporate directors of information technology. As senior editor at CMP Media's VARBusiness, she launched the Web site, VARBusiness University, an online professional resource center for value-added resellers of information technology.

Ms. Ellison has chaired numerous industry panels and has been quoted as a networking and educational technology expert in The New York Times, Newsday, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio's All Things Considered, CNN Headline News, WNBC and CNN/FN, as well as local and regional Comcast and Cablevision reports. Her articles have appeared in most major hi-tech publications and numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor.

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