The monthly e-newsletter for the community
Vol. 3, No. 3, March 31, 2003

The Top Story

  • 10 Tactics to Kickstart Your Mobile Workforce

Field Force Perspectives

  • FFA Insider: Are Smartphones Finally Ready for Primetime?

This Month in Field Force Automation

  • A Profusion of Tablet PCs
    In the second of our two-part feature, we look at five more contenders in a suddenly crowded Tablet PC race.
  • All for Wireless, and Wireless for All
    Coming technologies promise faster, more ubiquitous wireless data access. But what about now?
  • Advantage: Bean Counters
    ROI is not necessarily the end-all, be-all when it comes to mobile technology projects.

Sponsor Spot

  • PointBase
  • Dexterra
  • Psion Teklogix

Special Events

  • Research In Motion Wireless Enterprise Symposium
  • COMPUTERWORLD Mobile & Wireless World
  • DCI's CRM Conference & Exposition
  • Frost & Sullivan Sales & Marketing 2003, East: 4th Annual Executive Summit

10 Tactics to Kickstart Your Mobile Workforce

Field Force Automation offers 10 right-now techniques that will help you improve the efficiency of your mobile workforce.

By Larry Tuck

Deploying a mobile solution for your field force can be a daunting challenge. But a few proven ideas have emerged. We talked to the experts and found 10 tactics that can help you increase your chances of success.

1. Understand User Needs

2. Ensure Field Force Buy-In

3. Getand ShowExecutive Support

4. Happy Techs = Happy Customers

5. Keep Information Secure

6. Use a Phased Approach

7. Train, Train, Train

8. Think Killer Enablement, Not Killer App

9. Strike Up the Bandwidth

10. Keep em Covered


For all the details on these tactics, read the entire story on

[Larry Tuck, former editor-in-chief of CRM Magazine, is based in Southern California.]

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FFA Insider: From FFA's Special Mobile Professional Section

Are Smartphones Finally Ready for Primetime?

The mobile workers wait for an all-in-one communications device might finally be over.

By Lee Sherman

For mobile professionals already weighed down with cellphones, pagers, PDAs and MP3 players, the smartphone is an appealing proposition. Technology has advanced to the point where combining all of this functionality into a single device is no longer the feat of magic it was once perceived to be. James Bonds quartermaster, Q, is going to have to work a lot harder to dazzle us. But the real question when it comes to smartphones today is not whether they are capable of doing all this, but rather, should they? Theres inevitably a trade-off in even the most capable device, whether its the battery life, ergonomic issues or cost.

With advances in mobile technology occurring so quickly, the definition of smartphone is broadening. Greg Yacovone, director of product marketing, Western U.S., at Verizon Wireless, says a smartphone is a device that includes both existing mobile phone functionality (the ability to make voice calls of course, but also short text messaging and WAP) and PDA functionality (not just the ability to organize contacts, meetings, tasks and notes, but also the ability to play MP3s, surf the real Web, exchange instant messages and play games). This all comes in a device small enough to fit in your pocket.


Click here to read the entire article on in our special Mobile Professional section.

[Lee Sherman is a San Francisco-based journalist who specializes in mobile technologies.]

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A Profusion of Tablet PCs
Since the launch of Microsofts Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in November, this new form factor has been picking up steam. Some industry watchers have called the introduction of this new operating system and the devices it powers the most ambitious high-tech product launch since the PDAor even the notebook.

All for Wireless, and Wireless for All
Gaining competitive advantage with your field force will eventually require you to create a direct, wireless link between your mobile workers and CRM enterprise data. Companies like Federal Express and UPS have led the way by creating proprietary software that lets them register package deliveries as soon as they are made so that their main office and customers can track packages in real time. To date, most wireless data has been delivered through very low-speed radio links; most of the data bits being transmitted are ASCII text or numbers. But the demand for access to e-mail, full Web pages and, more importantly, Web-based applications, is on the rise.

Advantage: Bean Counters
In todays economic environment, one critical business factor is likely to be the linchpin to a major mobile deployment. And its likely to be captured in a spreadsheet calculation. Value in todays marketplace is increasingly defined in terms of that pernicious acronym, ROI (return on investment). If you cannot show a positive ROIor, in truth, an estimated positive ROI since you cannot guarantee future benefitsthen the rest wont matter because you wont get a green light for the project.


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PointBase Mobile Database Solutions
PointBase offers industry-leading Java-based solutions for extending critical enterprise data to the mobile work force -- improving productivity, increasing responsiveness and securely delivering information beyond the firewall to where it's needed most. Visit us at to download your free 90-day evaluation of PointBase Mobile Database Solutions TODAY.

Turn your field service workforce into a revenue generating machine, complete with up-sell and cross-sale capabilities. We guarantee you'll see results in 90 days or less. FREE Test Drive! Call us today to see if you qualify for a FREE, no obligation, HP/Dexterra FASTSTART that includes the use of five Pocket PCs and software. Program ends April 30, 2003. Click here to read more about this special offer.

A Rugged Computer for Demanding Environments
netpad®'s rugged design and easy-to-use navigation bridge the gap between heavy-duty, keyboard-equipped data-capture computers and less rugged portable devices. Superior processing capability with a choice of integrated radio options make netpad the ideal solution for track-and-trace applications, field service, route/van sales, and asset management. Contact:; ; (866) ITS-TOUGH.

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Research In Motion Wireless Enterprise Symposium
May 6-7
Sands Expo & Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nev.

The Wireless Enterprise Symposium focuses specifically on leveraging wireless technologies to extend the enterprise. The symposium addresses the entire spectrum of wireless business, technology and customer centric initiatives to extend the corporate enterprise, resulting in real business advantages. For more information, visit

COMPUTERWORLD Mobile & Wireless World
May 6-9
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort
Palm Desert, Calif.

Are mobile and wireless technologies pushing your enterprise envelope? Is the proliferation of more devices challenging your organization's ability to stay on the cutting edge? Do you need to learn how other companies and industries apply the latest and greatest mobile and wireless tools? Then attend Computerworld's Mobile & Wireless World Conference, the place where you can gain first-hand, cutting-edge knowledge that can enhance your organization's mobile and wireless strategies.

DCI's CRM Conference & Exposition
June 18-20
Hynes Convention Centerr

DCI's CRM Conference & Exposition is coming to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston June 18-20, 2003. This event has continued to grow and evolve by presenting the latest strategies, technologies and best practices to keep you up-to-date and on the cusp of CRM advances.

Frost & Sullivan Sales & Marketing 2003, East
4th Annual Executive Summit
July 13-17

From analytics to branding to partnering to technology, this comprehensive event tackles top management's concerns for the organizations' future as it relates to acquiring, retaining, improving relations and loyalty with their present, past and future customers. This Executive Summit delivers real world insights from seasoned sales and marketing professionals along with multiple opportunities for you to network and brainstorm with solution providers and your peers in interactive sessions that allow you to get practical in applying what you've learned to your own organization. Click here for more information.




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Psion Teklogix

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