The IT and the Sales force with mobility and their productivity.

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This is the first opus of a series of posts and comments published by « Enterprise Mobility Matters » which will be the subject of a “parallel blogging” experiment with Analystik, editor of the « Productivité + » blog, onto which you will find a reply to these posts and comments. 

Measuring the contribution of Mobility to Business Productivity, are we there yet?

About 5 years ago, a major shift took place in most enterprises which very few noticed: Information Technologies went from a support role to a strategic role, most notably in terms of enhancing productivity. Where am I going with this?

The IT team

Well, CIOs have since become, in many businesses, one of those issuing the annual « go / no go » for next year business goals. In short, IT is now fully integrated with strategic planning in most businesses. IT now plays a key role in achieving business objectives, it is now perceived as part of the solution. Moreover, IT very often sets metrics into place to measure business tools, applications and processes performances or contribution to achieving business objectives.


Now, are Mobility tools well integrated with IT?  Very few businesses are there yet and there’s the rub.  Since Mobility is rarely integrated with IT; nobody requires setting metrics to measure Mobility users’ productivity or storing Mobility inputs/outputs for further analysis!

The smartphones

Mobility includes a wide variety of devices but since we’ve entered the iPhone and Storm era. We will stick to Smartphones and the likes for this post. Now, are Smartphones perceived as business tools or just a necessity by users?  Certainly a bit of both since they are, after all, telephones but they also carry contacts and agenda… and emails. So, can we measure the contribution of Smartphones to productivity?  Our opinion is yes, even if there hasn’t been any prior planning or integration. Smartphones are used to communicate (telephone & emails) and to do basic activity planning (contacts, agenda); now, if these business processes have improved whatsoever, one should be able to notice their impact on productivity, even if only, indirectly.

The Sales Force

Let’s consider one of our clients, specialized in equipment financing, which uses a Sales Force of many hundred reps. They have put into place three years ago a « BlackBerry » solution and have experienced since an:

  • improvement of the assistant / reps ratio
  • increase of the km / rep ratio
  • improvement of the nb. of client meetings / rep ratio
  • improvement of the sales volume / rep ratio


Considering that their representatives didn’t receive over this same period any special training or sales tools nor have they benefited from any new IT applications dedicated to improve these ratios; it is reasonable to conclude that these improvements testify to the contribution of  Mobility to Productivity for this client.

Denis Paul van ChesteinMichel Martel

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