Fattening Up the BlackBerry - Page 2

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.

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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.

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