NEW ORLEANS, March 19, 2003 — Today at the Microsoft Mobility Developer Conference 2003, Microsoft Corp., The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. (PBG) and Shelflink Inc. announced that PBG has deployed a new Microsoft® .NET Compact Framework-based smart mobile solution built with Microsoft Visual Studio®
.NET 2003. The solution provides PBG’s 6,000 sales representatives with vital information needed to sell more effectively to customers at 650,000 retail locations. PBG is automating several business processes that will drastically reduce operational costs while increasing the sales capabilities of its sales force.
“Our .NET Compact Framework-based application built by Shelflink replaces paper-based systems of the past,”
said Paul Hamilton, vice president of the supply chain group at PBG.
“Our business requires our sales force to have all the most current information all the time — whether they’re connected to the network or working offline. The new SmartSelling application will deliver that reliability day in and day out, order by order, as our sales representatives interact with store managers and owners.”
PBG takes advantage of Shelflink’s .NET Compact Framework-based SmartSelling technology and Web services to integrate data down to an application running locally on a custom-built Symbol Technologies Pocket PC. This data, which was previously captured through an intensive paper-based system, now is organized electronically and is easily accessible via Web services, enabling PBG’s sales force to access route management information, real-time demand forecasting, inventory management, promotional information and authorized products on-site from a handheld device. In addition, because of rich offline capabilities in the .NET Compact Framework, the information is available even when sales representatives are away from the network.
Shelflink’s SmartSelling solution was developed in only six months by 10 developers using a combination of Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Compact Framework.
“We are very excited to partner with Shelflink to help The Pepsi Bottling Group use Web services and the rich features of the .NET Compact Framework to increase the sales capabilities of PBG’s mobile sales force,”
said Tom Button, corporate vice president of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft.
“The .NET Compact Framework and Visual Studio .NET were engineered with the goal of removing barriers to mobile applications so customers like The Pepsi Bottling Group could bring the benefits of business process automation and efficiency to previously underserved mobile work forces.”
“Until very recently, mobile application advancements in the consumer packaged goods industry have been constrained by both limited device capabilities and inadequate software development platforms,”
said Nate Quigley, president of Shelflink.
However, with recent improvements in mobile device hardware, and with the arrival of rich development platforms like the .NET Compact Framework and Visual Studio .NET, these constraints are fading. That creates enormous opportunities for innovative software companies and the customers that partner with them.
“Pepsi already has a wealth of information on its front-office and back-office servers. The ability to draw that information into the application and quickly integrate it into the functionality that we brought to the table has been very important,”
We’re able to draw on Pepsi’s data warehouse and, through Web services, quickly publish that information to the handheld device and integrate it within the framework of the application, which translates into more powerful information for sales representatives and, ultimately, increased sales for PBG.
About The Pepsi Bottling Group
The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. ( http://www.pbg.com/ ), is the world’s largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi-Cola beverages with operations in the United States, Canada, Greece, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Turkey.
A leader in the emerging Sales Force Effectiveness (SFE) and Field Force Effectiveness (FFE) enterprise software arenas, Shelflink builds solutions that help companies improve performance at
“Moments of Truth”
in the field. Focusing on the Consumer Packaged Goods and Life Sciences industries, Shelflink helps companies leverage their existing investments in enterprise software systems by extending information flows beyond the four walls of the company and across the challenging
to mobile workers in the field. More information is available at http://www.shelflink.com/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft and Visual Studio are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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