South African Breweries (SAB), the South African lager and beverage business of the global SABMiller group, has equipped all of its executives with BlackBerry® smartphones using BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for Microsoft® Exchange as the first step in a major enterprise mobility project.
About 1000 of the company’s executives and sales representatives now count on the BlackBerry® solution to stay in touch with colleagues and customers while they are on the road. The successful deployment of BlackBerry® smartphones for mobile email is just the first step in a project that will eventually see SAB extend the SAP Salesforce Automation (SFA) solution to its mobile workforce.
Says Andrewe Procter, General Manager for Customer Relations at SAB: “We had tried other email solutions for mobile phones, but found that the BlackBerry solution is much easier to use than the others. The devices are intuitive and use reliable push technology for email,” he adds.
The usability and battery life of the BlackBerry smartphones have received unanimous approval from the sales reps, as has the simplicity of the BlackBerry email experience. Users no longer have to manually synchronise email, and the IT department did not have to install complex middleware to bring email to the BlackBerry smartphones.
“We are all able to read email on the go, and that is where I think the biggest benefit for the company lies,” says Procter. “Having a BlackBerry smartphone certainly helps executives stay in touch, keep up to date and get through a day’s work.” Projects now move forward more smoothly, no matter where the participants are located, and queries and requests no longer sit unanswered in inboxes, which has helped to accelerate business workflow.
The BlackBerry solution has enabled sales reps to be more responsive to customer needs and cut down on trips back to the office. Before the BlackBerry solution, reps would have to schedule stops at the office into their daily routine to check email and keep up with calendar changes. Over the course of the years, these trips would add up to hours of down time that has now been turned into productive time for sales calls.
“Once we have an SFA solution in place, sales reps will also be able to plan and execute more effectively without having to work with different software solutions. As an added benefit is that this can all be done remotely without having to come into the office,” says Procter.
He adds that without the BlackBerry solution, he and his colleagues would be working much longer hours. Procter estimates that the BlackBerry solution saves him at least an hour a day, with similar productivity gains being reported among the other users.