Blackberry Apps Help VAR Ride Out the Storm


David Bean, president of eAccess Solutions (CRN Fast Growth #79), makes a living optimizing those devices for his clients -- adding applications and databases that tie into phone networks and e-mail systems so data can flow back and forth. In essence, eAccess manages productivity for its clients. As is increasingly commonplace these days, Bean's customers expect a substantial and timely ROI. By unifying communications, eAccess streamlines customers' hardware requirements and lets them reduce their stockpile of equipment such as laptops and tablets.

Bean talked with ChannelWeb recently about how he sees the wireless mobility market space evolving.

What is one thing the new president could do to benefit business?

For small to midsize businesses, if they are going to put through a stimulus package, please earmark some for small businesses to pay for or subsidize people's health-care costs. Another thing is, for future stimulus packages, let's use the jobs and not continue bailouts. Those offer no growth opportunities; instead, let's invest in things in which we see tangible results. We need technical infrastructure upgrades as well as roads, airports. It's really important that the taxpayers get back something -" that could be something such as deploying WiMax in community environments, having the government subsidize that, for example.

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What verticals are you watching?

Well, financial is gone by the wayside. We've monitored that and watched it crumble. Legal is pretty rock solid, and health care is taking off at an astounding rate. Individual doctor's offices and medical groups are, for example, automating the process of digital prescription relaying.

Any particular technology you're excited about within those segments?

[VoIP] is finally getting integrated into data devices. It's now being tied into the corporate voice-mail system those two partnering together can bring to a customer a whole new level of solution. We can tie them back into the system for lowest cost routing solutions, saving customers thousands of dollars. VoIP is really the next killer app. VoIP makes it so that I can have a single point of contact: When my office phone rings, my Blackberry rings. I can use my Blackberry as the phone I use in the office, and have only one mailbox to check. Now, we're getting ready to launch a couple of products to make this a reality -- we're working with partners to connect hardware with carriers to make one solution that's cost effective, enhances productivity and is simple to deploy.

In retail, for example, sales can get into back-end software and see what's in stock, what's the ETA for out-of-stock products. With our software, they can connect into systems while they are sitting in front of the customer, which makes them look knowledgeable and increases productivity.

What support services tie into all of that?

We offer an array of support services. We have training -- for end users, teaching them how to use the device, how to learn more advanced features. Those we do mostly as Webinars. We offer support for administration and end users. Because we are a master dealer for carriers, we are the contact for how-to issues and support. We handle carrier provisioning, we add roaming features; we can do whatever is needed while the customer is on the phone with us. We can administer middleware. IT loves it because users are no longer hitting help desks, which know PC and laptops, but not Blackberries or cell phones. They can call eAccess directly. It's a better process to offload those types of questions, and it costs far less than to internalize that expertise.

We have 70 ISV apps that we support and will implement. Our engineers are on staff. We can implement new systems. For example, if a government agency wants to establish a plan for crisis management that details who gets notified, etc., we can do that.