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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

June - 2008 - issue > Cover Story

Openstream: Leading the Mobile Force Automation

Jayakishore Bayadi
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Jayakishore Bayadi
Shumate Corporation, a leading construction, heating, and air-conditioning company in Duluth, GA, were looking for an integrated mobile solution for their 500 strong field-force to achieve their vision of a paperless office. They selected Openstream, a mobile software company’s Mobile Force Automation (MoFA) solution for its modular functionalities that nicely combined the key features they needed in the field. The modular solution provided GPS, camera, email, check and credit card reader, and wireless printer capabilities that integrated very well with our backend software. “Today, the solution gives us the ability to manage work-orders, process payments, and manage inventory on our trucks and warehouses, and pass on any leads with pictures to our sales department. The solution also allows us to manage the devices from the central office with its remote management capabilities allowing our field-users the choice of voice and keypad interaction,” says Frank Steinocher, CIO, Shumate Corporation.

With over 3.3 billion mobile phone users around the world, it is anybody’s guess that enterprises are getting increasingly distributed and virtual, with a lot of them getting outfitted outside the conventional edifices of the enterprise.

Enterprises are fast realizing the need to go beyond email-access to drive the productivity gains through field-force automation. While early field-force solutions relied on proprietary hardware and applications, with the proliferation of the ever-more-powerful mobile devices that combine popular technologies like GPS, RFID sensors, cameras, and media players, the demands on field-access and synchronization of data and information is becoming increasingly important; whether it is a courier company tracking packages or a retail chain monitoring the inventory or a utility services company dispatching and managing work-orders or a media company managing and monetizing content distribution.

Take another instance. Hess Corporation, an energy company headquartered in Woodbridge, NJ, was tasked with finding a solution to track all of its convenience-store orders and inventory data, eliminating duplicate orders and significant delays in inventory-forecast updates, and the order-processing systems. Further, the company wanted to cut down the cost of management of the software applications used in the field and also wanted to improve the accuracy and reduce the huge cost of its manual enterprise-wide inventory tracking processes.

Hess implemented Openstream’s MoFA inventory application, which provides accurate and real time inventory status of all items in each convenience store. With this solution the store employees could seamlessly upload inventory information to a backend server residing at the company’s corporate data center. Today, with MoFA solution, Hess Corporation is able to track inventory across 870 stores in the U.S. MoFA streamlines the inventory processes while providing seamless integration with the back-end systems.


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Reader's comments(2)
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Posted by: - 07th Jun 2008
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Posted by: - 07th Jun 2008
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