Tech Solutions

The tablets helping STRIKEFORCE AMC's communications jump off the shelf

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

When STRIKEFORCE AMC chief Michael Bartholomew started looking for a mobile platform to connect his company, he knew it would pose some serious challenges.

SRIKEFORCE AMC produces a weekly newsletter that includes important information for its staff and clients. The company found it was printing around one million copies a year resulting in a great deal of time and money being spent on printing and physically mailing out newsletters to field staff.

Michael Bartholomew of Strikeforce AMC

News delivered on time

The company needed a means to communicate with staff while they are in the field and deploy the latest updates with just a push of a button.

“The method of mailing out paper-based newsletters, weekly priorities, objectives and tasks meant field staff had to carry around binders full of newsletters and STRIKEFORCE AMC could not have version control over what had already been sent out,” Michael says.

“Field staff members were also using paper-based promotional material in presentations to client managers, a crucial aspect of their job.”

Michael weighed up the company’s options, which included the possibility of building its own application. Eventually, he decided to deploy a fleet of mini tablets connected to the Telstra Mobile Network with Zunos installed. Having the tablets connected to the Telstra Mobile Network provided field workers with coverage in more places when they were visiting shopping centres or on the road.

A clearer view

The internet-connected tablets have helped field staff become more productive and have access to up-to-date marketing and sales collateral on the go. The company can also see who is viewing, sharing and using the content through back-end reports.

STRIKEFORCE AMC field merchandiser Belinda Murray says the system has greatly increased efficiency and improved customer engagement.

“What’s great about this software is we’ve been able to minimise the amount of paperwork that we’re carrying around which is much easier from a merchandising perspective,” Belinda says. “The newsletter can now be sent out electronically, which means it can be downloaded on the go and staff can see past newsletters as well.

“We’ve also been able to access all of our different video content on the go, which in the past we weren’t able to do,” she adds.

Push button inventory update

STRIKEFORCE AMC IT manager, Somi Bhatt says Zunos' management features have also helped the company save time.

“We used to manage our inventory of these devices on Excel spreadsheets. It was a big maintenance task for IT to keep this inventory in control. Now it is all centralised and everybody is up-to-date with just a push of a button. All 900 field staff are using exactly the same software version and everybody is on the same page,” Somi explains. Having such a large fleet of tablets, it’s inevitable that from time to time one or two will go missing and this is the sort of thing for which IT security managers like to be prepared.

That’s why, says Somi, Zunos' AirWatch device management tool is one of its most impressive. “Since AirWatch has been used within the business, our inventory is centralised − if a device is lost or there is a theft, we can quickly lock the device down,” he reassures.

Having mobile broadband connections in all the tablets allows field-staff to complete a range of internet-based tasks for clients, including distribution checks, program compliance and managing orders for products on the road.

“This now enables us to stay at the cutting edge of technology and continually drive constant and never ending improvement,” Michael enthuses.

Insights from Telstra's Director of Business Mobility

Tim Webber says that STRIKEFORCE AMC is a perfect example of how selecting the right business applications and devices can help transform business operations. 

"Eliminating paper-based processes and employing better data capture, retention and management technologies can literally change overnight the way businesses operate," explains Webber, adding that the best thing about moving to Telstra's Mobile Network, mobile devices and Cloud-based applications is that the business and its technology become scalable.

"As your business grows, your systems can grow and adapt to meet demand," he notes. "Device management for all team members is made even easier with apps like AirWatch."

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