Company: MicrosoftCustomer: PharmexxSubmitted by: ShandwickPharmexx Sales and Marketing Intelligence GmbH, a service provider to the pharmaceuticals industry, is providing its customers’ field sales forces with mobile access to information using Hewlett-Packard® Jornada 820e Windows Powered Handheld PC Pros. The mobile devices provide online access to centralised data on a web server running F.
O.R.C.E., an online marketing and distribution system developed by EasyCom. This is enabling more efficient and economical data collection and reporting, but more importantly, new applications and services that could not otherwise be provided.
The solution is putting an end to the era of time-consuming, costly, paper-based reporting.Pharmexx GmbH, a new pharmaceutical service provider is using Hewlett-Packard® 820e Windows® Powered Handheld PC Pros (based on Windows CE 2.11 Pro) to give customers access to sales force information stored on F.O.R.C.
E., a modular online marketing and distribution solution developed by EasyCom GmbH. No longer do paper forms have to be sent back to company headquarters to be re-entered into a database so that statistics can be compiled and reports eventually created some weeks later. Users can immediately gain access to the data they need in real time, regardless of where they are.Users can get the information they require by downloading ASCII files from a central server. Pocket versions of Word and Excel are then used to view the information in a more visually appealing and meaningful way. Pocket PowerPoint also enables sales representatives to show doctors presentations whilst out of the office.
The ideal front-end
EasyCom found it was logical to use Windows CE-based mobile devices as the front-end of F.O.
R.C.E. as it already had experience of developing Windows-based applications and was able to leverage its developers’ existing skills to build the mobile solution.The Pocket Internet Explorer browser enables the Handheld PC to provide the full functionality of F.
O.R.C.E.’s html-based input screens over the internet.
Fast and easy data collection
These fields are then filled out with data collected in the field.
Sales representatives are currently uploading data each evening to the company’s back-end servers using a modem and landline connection.New wireless communications technologies such as General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) will enable faster data transmission and enable Pharmexx’s customers to easily access F.O.R.C.
E. functionality via the internet using a mobile phone. The use of WAP-enabled mobile phones has been ruled out however, as it is completely unsuited to the F.O.R.C.
E. application. Michael Schatz, internet project manager at EasyCom, explains: “Our application simply cannot be represented on a tiny mobile phone screen. We need a fully-featured browser window in order to be able to properly display our forms. Who wants to painstakingly enter reports on a mobile phone keypad?”
The entire functionality of F.O.R.C.
E. is located on the central web server. The EasyCom solution is platform-independent, but Pharmexx chose to use Windows Powered Handheld PC Pros as the front-end to the F.O.R.
C.E. application. It has been especially impressed with the device’s instant-on feature which is saving users valuable time as the Windows Powered device can be operational at the touch of a button without the need for time-consuming rebooting.Employees are comfortable with the mobile solution as they are familiar with Windows- based applications.
They have been able to get up and running with the devices with only minimal training, thereby saving training budgets. The Pocket Office applications are installed as standard, providing sales representatives with all the tools they need in the field.
Secure access to information
Security is a key feature of the EasyCom solution. Users have to log on using a PIN number, and all transactions are protected using automatically generated transaction numbers (TANs), which can only be used once. Schatz explains: “A regional manager can only access the data on his region and sales force. The marketing director, on the other hand, has access to all information.”