Mobitex Technology - Solutions - Case study

FedEx, USA

The Personnel Division of FedEx recently completed a successful trial of a Mobitex wireless data solution based on Telepartner's MOBI/3270 client and TeleServer gateway software. Enthusiasm for the new system, which provides instant access to FedEx's mainframe system, is strong and unanimous. FedEx is now considering Telepartner's solution in several other corporate divisions.

FedEx delivers fast, efficient customer service

The FedEx Personnel Division was faced with customer responsiveness challenges. Employees of the Personnel Division, who were required to be in the field, needed easy access to their e-mail and critical data stored on the company's mainframe at the head office in Memphis.

Telepartner's solution
"Our internal customers might wait a week or more for answers, simply because representatives in the field could not access the information adequately," explains Christine Falls, personnel information systems analyst at FedEx. "It was an inefficient and ineffective way to conduct business, especially for the Personnel Division.

"We pride ourselves in providing a considerable amount of assistance to other areas of the corporation whilst upholding the confidentiality standards of the Personnel Division," Christine adds.

Telepartner International proposed a wireless data solution consisting of laptop computers loaded with Telepartner's wireless MOBI/3 270 client software and Telepartner's TeleServer software at the host site to enable access to mainframe data. The solution also included Mobidem wireless modems from Ericsson and network service from RAM Mobile Data.

Enthusiastic users
A survey conducted five months into the first trials indicated that enthusiasm for the mobile data communications system was strong and unanimous. The 55 users who participated in the trial reported that the Mobitex solution from Telepartner increased their productivity, flexibility and quality of service, whilst reducing the time it took to respond to their customers. The ability to access the mainframe when needed - from the airport, a hotel, home or from a taxi - was seen as a major time-saver.

Christine Falls sums up the results saying "The wireless communications solution continues to live up to our expectations. We are realizing all the benefits that we anticipated." The nine-month trial began in July 1995 with 55 employees of FedEx's Personnel Division. Participants included field training service representatives, safety and training specialists, personnel representatives, managers, directors and eight vice presidents.

These are people whose work frequently takes them out of the office. As might be expected, quick access to documents on the mainframe is essential to these employees, as they monitor and resolve personnel-related issues for FedEx's 106,000 U.S. and 12,000 international employees.

An easy choice
On April 1, 1996, the trial period ended with a contract for 60 mobile communications systems for the FedEx Human Resource professionals. Christine Falls relates that choosing the Mobitex solution from Telepartner was simple. "The package we needed to wirelessly access the company's mainframe to send and receive e-mail is unique to Telepartner" she explains. "No other communications company could provide the capabilities required by FedEx, so there were no real competitors."

Managers impressed
Christine relates how James Perkins, senior vice president of the Personnel Division, was introduced to and thoroughly impressed by Telepartner's wireless communications solution. Perkins needed to examine an employee's performance review immediately.

James Candler, director of personnel information systems for FedEx, was paged en route to a meeting while in Chicago. Candler simply connected his Mobidem wireless modem to his notebook PC, connected to the mainframe and pulled the required document up on the screen, where he was able to fax it to Perkins. Within minutes of his initial request, Perkins had the document in hand. He was so impressed with the speed and capability of the new device that he immediately ordered mobile systems for himself and his administrative assistant.

Before the Mobitex solution was implemented, Perkins request might have taken hours to complete. Instead, with Telepartners high-performance wireless software, the request was fulfilled within minutes. The Mobidem wireless modem and the RAM Network service made taking care of this senior executive's request fast and easy.

Use to expand
"The mobile data system is currently used exclusively by the Personnel Division, but we are anxious to expand its use," reveals Christine Falls. Based on the successful pilot, FedEx Personnel Information Systems Management is interested in providing the ability to access mainframe data wirelessly throughout several corporate divisions within FedEx.


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