PDA to the People

PeopleSoft Inc. today announced its support of Microsoft's Pocket PC Phone Edition platform and the newly launched Microsoft Windows Powered Smartphone software. PeopleSoft claims to be the first enterprise application vendor to support the new wireless communication and telephony features available later this year with Microsoft's PocketPC Phone Edition. PeopleSoft will deliver wireless Web support in early 2003 for Microsoft Windows Powered Smartphone software.

Using PeopleSoft CRM Mobile Sales, field sales and service professionals will have access to up-to-the-minute sales information at the point of customer contact, and will be able to use a wireless Web browser to manage opportunities, update account information, and track sales performance directly from any WindowsPowered Smartphone device. According to Brad Wilson, PeopleSoft's vice president of CRM product marketing, this gives users an advantage, because the PeopleSoft application can synch directly to their PDAs, but doesn't overload them with information they may not need. "It gives the information locally that is for [each user]. For example, managers get different information than reps do," Wilson says. He explains that the system can be set up to synch information based on a company's specific needs. It can, for example, be set up to synch leads two times per day, but synch catalog information only once a week. However, Wilson says, it's a faster synch engine than most other vendors offer. "It can synch one year's worth of a salesperson's changes in six minutes," he says.

According to Wilson, PeopleSoft is a staunch supporter of Microsoft's mobile platforms. "Part of the reason behind this [launch] is generating user adoption," he says. Having numerous devises--a cell phone, PDA, and laptop, for example--can be cumbersome, Wilson says, but these converged devises offer a smaller footprint, yet a smoother process of accessing the information necessary in the field. "It's all about usability, ultimately," Wilson says.

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