By Steve Niles
Elsewhere in this issue of DominoPower, Mick Moignard discusses how he uses AvantGo's Pylon Pro software (at http://www.avantgo.com/products/businesses/workforce/productivity/pylon/pylon_pro.html) to synchronize his Palm Tungsten T handheld with Lotus Notes. This works great for him on a personal basis, but can the same functionality work on an enterprise wide level?
Well, Holt CATERPILLAR (at http://www.holtcat.com) is one company that's giving it a shot. Holt CAT is a Caterpillar dealership that sells and services new and used Caterpillar engines and machines, like the one pictured in Figure A.FIGURE A
Holt CATERPILLAR sells and services Caterpillar equipment.
The company represents Caterpillar, NPK, Cedarapids, and LoadKing Trailers in North Central and South Texas. They also fabricate their own line of land clearing equipment and HOLT Spray King water tankers.
Holt CATERPILLAR has adopted the AvantGo Pylon Pro 5.0 technology in order to extend the company's Lotus Notes PIM (Personal Information Management) and custom database applications to handheld devices. Such functionality should allow Holt CATERPILLAR employees to access up-to-date information while in the field or away from the office.
AvantGo Pylon Pro 5.0 supports both Palm OS and Pocket PC devices. It's specifically designed to provide remote access to Lotus Notes PIM applications, email, and custom Notes databases and applications from mobile devices without any additional programming. You can get an idea of what Lotus Notes Data might look like on a mobile device in Figure B.FIGURE B
Custom Lotus Notes databases can be transformed into handheld applications with Pylon Pro.
The software runs on Microsoft Windows 98, 2000, NT, and XP, and it's compatible with Lotus Notes R5 and 4.6. On the device side, it works with Palm OS 3.0 or later and Pocket PC or Pocket PC 2002.
Holt CAT worked with Ellucre (at http://www.ellucre.com), a technology integrator and Pylon reseller, in order to deploy AvantGo Pylon Pro software throughout its organization. The solution can enable workers to access their email, calendar, address book, memos and tasks, and other Lotus Notes PIM data from their handheld device either wirelessly or via desktop synchronization.
The ability to access Lotus Notes via a handheld device has enormous potential for any business. According to Thomas Murray, CIO of Holt CAT, "As more and more business continues to be conducted over the Internet and through email, supporting mobility across the organization means that we can respond to customers as quickly as possible in order to close deals and drive customer retention and satisfaction. By providing employees with mobile access to their Lotus Notes applications, they are able to answer emails, retrieve phone numbers, and view calendars regardless of where they are, resulting in improved efficiency and productivity. Bottom line, more deals are closed and more money made when employees can quickly and accurately respond to customers."
The handheld computing trend just keeps growing and growing. Pylon Pro is just one way of synchronizing your Lotus Notes applications to your handheld. For other solutions, be sure to read Dan Velasco's article, "Synchronize your handheld with Lotus Notes," in the April 2002 issue of DominoPower at http://www.dominopower.com/issues/issue200204/synchronize001.html.