On the same topic from before Mr. James S.
On the same topic from before Mr. James S.,which is attached, I understand that there is so much concerns on wireless networks. The question is: what security concerns might arise over mobile access to private corporate information?Adidas Turns to Cellular Network for Inventory Data
The Adidas Group is a global leader in the sporting goods
industry, offering a large portfolio of products in virtually every country in
the world. Adidas Group brands include Adidas, Reebok, and TaylorMade â Adidas
Golf. The Adidas Group headquarters is in Herzogenaurach, Germany, with 170
subsidiaries located around the world.
Adidas America is the
U. S. division of the Adidas Group, employing around 2,000 people at its
offices and distribution centers across the country. Recently, Adidas America
discovered an inexpensive way to use telecommunications technologies to help
their sales force become more productive.
Adidas sales representatives spend a lot of time traveling,
paying visits to customers that range from small private sporting shops to
large franchises. One major inconvenience for the sales force and the customers
it calls on lies in checking current inventory levels for order placement. For
years, a salesperson was required to phone Adidas customer service
representatives (CSRs) to find out which products were in stock and which were
sold out. Because Adidas inventory fluctuates frequently, this important
information is needed to keep customers from being frustrated by back-ordered
products. Having to phone for the information was frustrating for sales
representatives as well as customers who would have to wait while the
salesperson talked on the phone. It also over- burdened the CSRs, whose main
job wasnât inventory reporting but assisting customers.
The Adidas America information systems group thought they
had a solution. They set up a VPN to enable customer representatives to
securely connect to the corporate data from their laptops and access the
inventory data directly. However, what looks good on paper doesnât always work
well when implemented. Customer service employees were not comfortable visiting
customers with their laptop computers, because they had to make the customer
wait while they booted up and looked up information. Instead, they would
typically take the customerâs order, then check inventory later, getting back
to the customer if there were product shortages. This certainly wasnât the
intended workflow, and the solution ended up being as bad as the original
Adidas Sales Force
Automation Manager, Tim Oligmueller, was struck by a solution while attending a
telecommunications trade show. He realized that the BlackBerry smart phones the
sales force used could do much more than deliver e- mail and make phone calls.
He saw demonstrations of BlackBerry phones that ran sophisticated business
information systems. Tim realized that the solution was in the salespeopleâs
pockets all along. All that was required was for Adidas to invest in
BlackBerryâs Mobile Data System and Enterprise Server and for the information
system group to develop their own Sales Force and CRM applications.
Within two weeks and with an investment of less than $
10,000, Tim and his team had deployed a mobile information system that now
allows salespeople to quickly and effortlessly access inventory data without
inconveniencing customers or CSRs. Now salespeople can provide customers with
the information they need to make quicker purchasing decisions on the spot.
Salespeople and CSRs spend less time on the phone with each other, freeing both
sides to be more productive. Customers are impressed with the improved service
and technological innovativeness of the company. Salespeople can e- mail
catalogues and order information to the customer as they converse. The new
system has increased customersâ confidence in doing business with Adidas.
Adidas is looking to
many other wireless applications that can assist the sales force and others in
the organization. As with all of the examples provided in this chapter,
telecommunications technologies provide Adidas with rapid access to information
when and where it is needed, empowering the company to maximize its
productivity and potential and gain a competitive advantage.
Because internet enabled handheld devices have several
advantages over laptops. For example, laptops are portable, but sometimes it
can’t go everywhere with us. The typical laptop weighs almost 10 pounds with
their protective carrying case. Handheld devices fit in your pocket and are
convenient because they can provide quick and discreet Internet access. Handheld
devices have always-on Internet access, which saves you the time and trouble of
establishing a connection. Being able to unobtrusively check your email will
also let you take urgent messages without disrupting meetings with phone calls.
Another advantage of handheld devices over laptops is that a
typical laptop computer battery lasts only two to three hours. Some PDAs can
run for several days on a single charge. In addition, most devices have Windows
Mobile software. Pocket versions of Microsoft Office allow people to create,
edit and read word documents. The wide variety of software will allow people to
make the best use of their time.
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