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Treo: Smartphone of Choice for Businesses

Last week Palm and Frost & Sullivan released results of an extremely interesting smartphone survey of 531 U.S. enterprise employees holding either line-of-business or IT positions which declared that the Treo smartphone is the smartphone of choice for businesses.

According to the report, mobile professionals are choosing Treo smartphones for the platform's abundant business-ready applications, high degree of flexibility, choice of operating systems, and power and convenience.

In addition, Frost & Sullivan assessed the return on investment (ROI) of Treo smartphones used in a range of businesses and conservatively determined the average payback period to be less than two months. The results also reported that sales and field agents experienced productivity gains that equaled $11,125 in average savings per agent each year.

Participants cited the following reasons for choosing Palm Treo smartphones:

  • Business-ready Applications: At present, there are thousands of software applications for Treo smartphones available from third-party partners, including titles for finance, insurance, real estate, healthcare, education, sales force automation and IT management.
  • Flexibility: Treo smartphones can connect to most back-end email server systems and infrastructures, and provide flexibility in the operating systems supported. For servers, there are solutions for all versions of Microsoft Exchange/Outlook, Lotus Domino/Notes and for Group Wise. Palm has also announced a client for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server via BlackBerry Connect.
  • Choice of OS: With a choice of open, business-ready operating systems, technical and business decision makers are able to agree that simplicity, security and user satisfaction are most important in mobilizing an enterprise. Both Palm OS and Windows Mobile platforms work seamlessly with existing email, enterprise applications and IT infrastructure.
  • Power and Convenience: Treo smartphones allow users to make calls, handle email, send messages and turn "downtime into found time" while waiting at the airport, sitting in the back of a taxi or even just waiting for meetings to begin.

As existing Treonauts already know well, Frost & Sullivan state that:

“A smartphone can be the ideal delivery mechanism for these services, as it combines both the features of a wireless handset and the flexibility of a personal digital assistant (PDA) in a single device.  A smartphone can play a key role in:

  • Driving employee productivity, by enabling workers to use their time away from the desk and the office more effectively.
  • Significantly accelerating workflow by shortening the internal decision process and allowing employees to respond to internal email, voice calls, and voice mail faster.
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction by shortening the response time to customer inquiries.
  • Achieving additional cost savings by reducing or eliminating the need to spend on other hardware devices such as laptops, PDAs or 12-key cell phones.

Additional benefits include the convenience of having to carry only one device, the ubiquity of the service and the ease of having integrated voice and data capabilities.  In addition, we uncovered the appeal of the Treo smartphone as a perquisite, which contributes to overall employee satisfaction. Finally, our survey also showed that when given a choice, most end-users tend to opt for the Treo smartphone over other smartphones.”

I also liked how Frost & Sullivan mapped out the ‘mobility profiles’ for a typical enterprise which includes seven groups in the graph below.

People working mainly on site:

  • Desk workers: work mostly behind their desks
    (e.g., software designers, operations, accounting).
  • On-site rovers: work mainly at their desks, but sometimes
    roam in the company (e.g., administrative assistants).
  • Site wanderers: desk-less people who typically spend
    most of their time roaming on-site (e.g., IT troubleshooter).

People working mainly off-site:

  • Teleworkers: work remotely (from home or from a location away from the office) most of the time.
  • Off-site rovers: work off-site mainly away from their offices, but sometimes at their desks (e.g., consultants).
  • Road warriors: work mainly outside the company (e.g., account executive).
  • Global cruiser: often travel between different company, or customer, locations (e.g., corporate executive)

To calculate the ROI respondents from each of the above employee categories stated the downtime they recovered daily (in minutes/day) thanks to their Treo and this increased productivity was assigned a monetary value based on the median salaries and average number of hours worked per year (see below).

Next comes establishing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the Treo smartphone solution below.

Finally, with the average productivity gain and TCO established Frost & Sullivan calculated the payback period (in days) for a Treo deployment within enterprises of differing sizes.

Separately, the research also noted that currently 40 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies use Treo smartphones, and an additional 35 percent are in testing or trials.  Evidently there is still a lot of room for Treo to grow…

For further details of Frost & Sullivan’s survey and analysis I strongly recommend reading the full 8 page PDF report.

Palm Open-Platform Email Strategy Makes Treo Smartphone the Choice for Businesses, Per Frost & Sullivan [Palm Press Release]

Treonauts always want to be #1…

Posted by Andrew on February 22, 2006 at 02:10 PM

Treo 650 , Treo 700w

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