If you own or manage a small business, mobility could be your middle name. Whether you're developing new customers or servicing existing ones, things don't get done if you're sitting behind a desk all day.
If NetSuite is your business application suite of choice, you may be happy to know that the Web-services provider today announced that you can now access and interact with your NetSuite data using Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Palm Treo mobile devices.
To add the wireless capabilities, Netsuite relied on third-party application developers Antenna Software, Explore Mobile and iEnterprises, who used NetSuite's SuiteFlex development and integration platform to produce the wireless services. The goal of the services is to let you access key NetSuit data in real-time and from everywhere so you can continue to run your business while away from the office.
For example, according to NetSuite's Vice President of Product Management Mini Peiris, the three new offerings allow you to access accounts receivable, quote and order management information remotely. You can also, she said, close transactions and provide customer support and service from your mobile device.
"The demand and the technology are coming together," Peiris said, "The time is right." On the technology side, she said "the screens are better, the devices are smaller, the networking bandwidth and coverage is good. Technology advances make it feasible."
On the demand side, Peiris said, "Customers are also starting to look for the wireless options." In fact, she said, "some organizations now give their sales forces Blackberries instead of notebooks."
"With NetSuite on your wireless device, now not only can you take the order, but you can take it while on the customer site, or even on the golf course," Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, said in a written statement released today.
NetSuite's philosophy, Peiris said, is to offer customers a choice. "We want to offer several solutions instead of saying, 'if you want mobile you have to use this'," she said. She added that the mobile services will be sold jointly between NetSuite and the partner. However, the contract is with the third-party provider, she said. Pricing for the service ranges from about $15 to $50 per user, per month, she said.
NetSuite's wireless partners include the following:
|Antenna's mobile application is designed to let you access and update customer and order information from a variety of wireless hand-held devices, including a Blackberry|
"Antenna is our strongest mobile partner," Peiris said, "They have been doing this for a long time."
Explore Mobile's Explore was "built specifically for Netsuite," Peiris said, "and extends order entry to mobile devices." This allows sales reps to retrieve, update and take orders via their mobile device and have then upload it into NetSuite with one click. The Explore application is built to let you complete an order on the mobile device together with item and current-pricing details.
In addition, the Advanced Price List service is designed to let mobile workers extract complete item price lists and e-mail them directly from a mobile device.
iEnterprises' Mobile Edge for NetSuite lets you "leverage NetSuite's customer service capabilities and is ideal for field service work," Peiris said. It's designed to let you access information such as contacts, opportunities, cases, call reports, tasks and activities through your BlackBerry within seconds, so you can respond to urgent issues and provide customer service.
"Many small and medium businesses don't have a lot of time and resources, but urgently need to help their mobile professionals get mission critical information while away from the office," said John Carini, CEO of iEnterprises.
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