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StorageTek Deploys Blackberry Handhelds From Telstra For Real-Time Wireless Customer Service Solution

  • 20 August, 2003 10:43

<p>~ Enterprise Storage Customers Benefit from Superior Service Delivery and Reporting while StorageTek Improves Productivity and Reduces Costs ~</p>
<p>(PICTURES PROVIDED ON REQUEST.)</p>
<p>SYDNEY Australia, 20 August 2003 -- StorageTek® (Storage Technology Corp., NYSE:STK), the data storage and solutions expert, today announced it is deploying BlackBerry® wireless handhelds from Telstra to its field engineers, enabling constant real-time communications and ensuring customer service delivery above and beyond levels specified in service agreements.</p>
<p>StorageTek's field engineers are based in all major Australian state capitals and the ACT and are responsible for the installation and maintenance of equipment. The field engineers play a key role in the delivery of StorageTek's enterprise support services and professional services - helping organisations assess, design, implement and manage their IT and storage infrastructure.</p>
<p>The deployment of the 45 BlackBerry units and BlackBerry Enterprise Server from Telstra follows StorageTek's successful field service trial delivering superior customer service delivery and reporting, improved service staff productivity, communications cost savings and broader organisational benefits.</p>
<p>Superior customer service was the principal objective, said Drew Lourey, StorageTek Resource Centre Manager for Australia / New Zealand. StorageTek previously supplied field engineers with pagers, but these were limited to short messages, did not support data capture, and provided one-way communications only. Mr Lourey had been investigating alternative wireless devices, including two-way pagers and wireless PDAs. "We have been looking for a robust solution for some time."</p>
<p>With pagers, StorageTek Resource Centre staff were unable to send field engineers all the information required to efficiently meet customer service requests. The results of analysis performed by StorageTek's support group on customers' remotely monitored equipment couldn't fit into 160 characters. It had to be relayed to engineers by mobile telephone, disrupting resource centre staff who had to double handle the information. It was also not completely reliable.</p>
<p>With the BlackBerry handhelds from Telstra, however, the complete results of StorageTek's analysis can be sent to field engineers, along with other details of service calls. With two-way communications, resource centre staff can see whether the message has been delivered, and field engineers can immediately acknowledge acceptance of jobs.</p>
<p>"Previously, we didn't know if field engineers had received the request," said Mr Lourey. "They had to call us by mobile phone. If they didn't, we had to escalate the job and page them again. By integrating BlackBerry Enterprise Server with our call management system, we can get real-time updates without any phone calls."</p>
<p>Providing customer service is easier and more efficient as a result. "We are better empowered to deliver on service agreements," said Mr Lourey. "We can focus on managing customer requests and providing superior customer service."</p>
<p>Customer reporting has also improved with the BlackBerry handhelds' data capture capabilities. Engineers can enter more detailed job codes with automatic time stamping on site, and these are immediately visible to StorageTek Resource Centre staff. "We are in a better position to demonstrate to customers that we are delivering what we are contracted to deliver," said Mr Lourey. "That is proving very beneficial."</p>
<p>With BlackBerry handhelds, field engineers can dispense with paper diaries. They also save the time and effort of manually transferring job details and times from their diaries into StorageTek's system, a task that previously took 30 minutes or more per day, plus travel time to the office.</p>
<p>Other productivity benefits include immediate access to StorageTek's database of fault symptom codes and constant access to email. With better information, two-way communications and improved productivity, field engineers will have more time and resources to meet customer service requests in a single visit.</p>
<p>StorageTek also expects cost savings, said Mr Lourey. "Telstra charges a flat rate per month for all data exchanges, including emails. Engineers can use the BlackBerry as a mobile phone if they need to -- with normal mobile phone charges -- but we are seeing substantially fewer calls. Mobile bills are no longer running up to hundreds a month, and we are saving on calls from the office as well."</p>
<p>The BlackBerry handhelds are also bringing broader organisational benefits. "With a more efficient call management system we are better able to effectively manage a growing business," he said. "With the BlackBerry it's faster to get new staff up to speed and easier to communicate changes to the field."</p>
<p>Improved organisational communications are another benefit, with field engineers gaining constant access to email and an employee portal. "Because they could previously only check emails periodically, engineers didn't really get a chance to properly absorb what they were reading," said Mr Lourey. "Now they can communicate more effectively with other people within StorageTek. They feel more a part of the organisation, and that's a very positive cultural change."</p>
<p>Other staff members are even becoming a little jealous. "The BlackBerry really is a great device," said Mr Lourey. "Now we have storage consultants and executives who have to travel saying, 'When do we get ours?'."</p>
<p>"StorageTek's Wireless Service Solution is a terrific example of the way companies are using Blackberry in innovative ways to improve business productivity," Telstra's National Manager, Data Sales, Mark Geddes said. "StorageTek have taken their BlackBerry handhelds way beyond wireless email and personal productivity with a solution that directly benefits their customers and their business."</p>
<p>ABOUT STORAGETEK</p>
<p>StorageTek (NYSE:STK), a $US2 billion worldwide company with headquarters in Louisville, Colo., delivers a broad range of storage solutions that are easy to manage, integrate well with existing infrastructures and allow universal access to data across servers, media types and networks. StorageTek provides practical and safe storage solutions in disk, networking, services, tape and tape automation, enterprise support services and professional services. For more information, see www.storagetek.com.</p>
<p>###</p>
<p>TRADEMARKS: StorageTek and Nearline are registered trademarks of Storage Technology Corp. All other products or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners.</p>
<p>MEDIA CONTACT:
Chris Bowes
Bowes Communications
02 9387 2332
cbowes@ozemail.com.au</p>

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