Global services provider improves productivity and sales with mobile Intel® technology
Ten thousand of its 30,000 employees are service sales representatives (SSRs) who drive trucks, delivering uniforms, maintaining and inspecting first aid and fire systems, and providing other services at customer sites. Armed with Windows CE–based devices, these mobile workers could scan barcodes, create invoices, and perform other tasks. However, the devices’ impact is limited by a small screen, limited ports and expandability, and the fact they cannot run Windows desktop applications. This meant SSRs had to return to their trucks or offices to access company systems and transmit the day’s transactions. Technicians would also have to carry bulky laptops into customer sites to perform their jobs.
The client wanted to make its SSRs and technicians more productive and also take advantage of the fact that these 10,000 employees come into contact with customers every day and can help sell additional offerings with each interaction.
The company has kitted-out its SSRs and technicians with the HP Elitepad 1000 tablet computer, powered by Intel® Core™ i5 processors and running Windows 8.1 Enterprise and Microsoft Office 365. This has made them more productive and better able to up-sell products or secure new sales, while also reducing their hardware-refresh costs.
It thought briefly about Apple iPads and Android-based devices. However, because nearly all of the company’s business systems run on the Windows operating system, it made perfect sense to opt for Windows tablet devices built on Intel processors and architecture that could run full versions of the Windows 8.1 operating system. The HP ElitePad 1000 offers a cellular connection, touch screen capability and long battery life; a lightweight, small size, flexible form factor and many accessories.
The company also licenses Microsoft Office 365 for employees – a cloud-based suite of Microsoft email, instant messaging, conferencing, and document-sharing services. Mobile employees can get their email while traveling and can also access sales documents. SSRs will also be able to communicate during stops using instant messaging.
The Windows 8 and Intel ecosystem is vast, including many different device types and form factors. The security and remote manageability capabilities that come with Windows 8 take advantage of the device features provided by the Intel platform, and can further help improve efficiencies and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) when managing large fleets of devices.
In fact, by replacing older handheld devices with Windows 8.1 tablets for 10,000 SSRs, the company can increase field worker productivity, improve customer service, increase up-sell opportunities, and save US$300 per device – potentially US$3 million in total.
SSRs can now step through their busy days much more efficiently. According to the client’s Director of Enterprise Architecture, Center of Excellence, the speed and versatility of Windows 8.1 has proven to be critically important. The tablets turn on instantly, which adds up to a great deal of time across thousands of SSRs.
With the new Windows 8.1 tablet in hand, SSRs and technicians can accomplish all needed tasks at the customer site without going back to the truck or being held up by lengthy laptop startup and shutdown times.
The tablets also mean they have to hand everything they need to deepen the customer relationship. For example, if a technician notices customer employees wearing competitors’ uniforms then they can immediately create a sales lead in the company’s customer relationship management system.
“Our technicians and SSRs can stand side by side with the customers and show them other company products on the tablet, using photos and videos,” stated the client. “We have an app that lets an SSR take a picture of the customer’s lobby and show them what it would look like outfitted with products and uniforms. It’s a powerful selling tool.”
With connected devices, SSRs can access not only email but also the company’s customer request system so no more batching requests at the end of the day. Plus, invoices can be created while on site with the customer – that means faster payment for the company.
The Windows 8.1 tablets also ensure that the company is perceived as a modern company – something that will become more and more important as its prospective employees get younger.
Finally, said the client, “low-cost tablets are attractive because we may not put them on a three-year replacement cycle but on a much shorter cycle. This will be better for the company’s bottom line and keep the latest technology in our SSRs’ hands.”
The client worked with IT partner Sogeti to deploy and test the devices. Sogeti helped design a Windows 8.1 image that was secure and optimized to support the new devices and also tested corporate applications on the tablet. It focused on delivering a great user experience so that employees could be more productive and better serve customers.
Sogeti is also providing managed services through its “Workspace-as-a-Service” offering, which allows it to manage customer technology using Microsoft System Center and the management features embedded in the devices, such as Intel® vPro™ technology. With “Workspace-as-a-Service”, Sogeti provides the Intel-based devices for the customer, in addition to managing the devices and the applications.
This US-based company designs and manufactures corporate uniforms, entrance mats, restroom supplies, tile and carpet cleaners, promotional products, first aid and safety products, and fire protection services for more than a million businesses worldwide. It works hard behind the scenes to keep each of these customers’ workplaces clean, safe and looking professional.