LONDON, June 29, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that KONE, a leading company in the global elevator and escalator business based in Finland, is planning to deploy Windows Mobile (TM) -based devices to 11,000 employees in 17 countries over the next two years. This constitutes one of the widest customer deployments of Windows Mobile-based devices to date. KONE selected TBS’s TaskMaster solution running on Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC Phone Edition devices to offer KONE a way to manage its mobile work force using ongoing, regular communication with employees. It can now offer valuable new services to its customers such as regular progress updates direct from field workers, enabling KONE to deliver an enhanced experience to customers. The distribution of regular updates using Windows Mobile-based devices also helps KONE to provide a safer working environment for its employees. The solution also is expected to reduce bottom-line costs and enable KONE to maintain its commitment to being the most innovative and professional organization in its field.
“As a business, our key priorities are ensuring that customers have a steady flow of people through their buildings and receive an excellent level of service from us as a vendor,” said Jim Haugsland, global field mobility manager at KONE. “It is important that we continue to offer improvements to our service by implementing the latest technology and most innovative working practices. The addition of Windows Mobile software to our current business processes will enable us to continue to provide the ever-improving level of service to customers that they have come to expect from our organization.”
KONE employees will be able to use a Windows Mobile-based device to communicate with the central office via the scalable and flexible TaskMaster solution offered by TBS. They will use TaskMaster running on a Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC Phone Edition device to receive new job allocations, send completion reports and offer customers regular, timely service updates. This was previously undertaken through traditional voice communications. KONE will now be able to provide an enhanced level of service to its customers and decrease the time taken to receive and complete jobs. This results in more efficient use of the work force and a better flow of people through the buildings owned by KONE customers.
KONE’s innovative new solution also enhances the company’s ability to predict potential repairs rather than waiting until a problem occurs. Employees can identify potential issues with equipment during regular maintenance checks and reference them in the real-time updates they send to customers and the KONE control centre. This means that a repair job can be organized, required parts ordered and the necessary work carried out on the unit before any customers experience difficulties. This helps reduce the number of emergency situations experienced by the customer and increase the flow of people through customer buildings.
In addition, the use of Windows Mobile-based devices to provide regular employee updates can help KONE offer its workers a safer working environment. As KONE professionals often work in hazardous conditions, the company can now ensure that employees arrive at and leave scheduled appointments on time. By doing so, KONE can ensure that it is alerted to any potential incidents immediately in order to act quickly and address the issue.
The first stage of the deployment follows an initial pilot project with 360 live users in Finland earlier this year. The implementation began this year with an initial deployment of Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs in the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia and France. Further implementations in North America and Asia will continue through 2005 and 2006. Connectivity will be provided by a variety of local mobile operators.
“Windows Mobile software will enable KONE to deliver improved customer service and reap the benefits of real-time access to business critical information,” said Neil Holloway, corporate vice president of Sales Marketing and Services at Microsoft EMEA. “The scale of this deployment highlights the value that Windows Mobile brings to businesses and the ongoing momentum of Windows Mobile-based devices in the enterprise space.”
Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs, the next generation of personal digital assistants (PDAs) that run the Windows Mobile platform from Microsoft and industry partners, offer customers a familiar way to connect to their essential business information while on the go. This includes access to Microsoft® Outlook®
e-mail, contacts and calendar through synchronization* with corporate systems and critical line-of-business applications, allowing the mobile worker to increase efficiency and productivity.
“Today’s business environment requires companies to be able to react quickly to customer needs,” said Steve Reynolds, managing director at TBS. “By implementing a solution based on TBS’s TaskMaster technology, KONE can offer a more flexible, responsive service to its customers by addressing situations immediately when they arise through real-time access to information. Our experience in this business shows us that this is where the true value lies when investing in technology.”
KONE is a service company known worldwide as a technology leader. Its innovative products transport hundreds of millions of people daily in all parts of the world. KONE sells, manufactures, installs, maintains and modernizes elevators and escalators, and services automatic building doors. KONE is part of KONE Corporation, whose annual net sales in 2003 totaled EUR 5.3 billion.
TBS is a leading supplier of integrated mobility solutions that enable organizations to communicate information wirelessly to their field workers. By eradicating paperwork administration and increasing the effectiveness of the field operations, TBS’s clients have experienced substantial efficiency gains and return on investment. TBS has over 10 years experience of implementing solutions in the field service/sales, utilities, health and safety and transportation industries.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)
Microsoft has operated in EMEA since 1982. In the region Microsoft employs more than 12,000 people in over 55 subsidiaries, delivering products and services in more than 139 countries and territories.
* Connectivity and synchronization may require separately purchased equipment and/or wireless products (e.g., Wi-Fi card; server hardware; network and/or redirector software). Service plans are required for Internet, Wi-Fi and phone access. Features and performance may vary by service provider and are subject to network limitations. See device manufacturer, service provider and/or corporate IT department for details.
Microsoft, Windows Mobile and Outlook 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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