London, UK – 4 November 2002 Three wireless applications for the business PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) market were announced today by Blueprint, a Microsoft Gold Partner for Collaborative Solutions and developer of applications for the mobile enterprise.
A wireless network management application, a retail queue management tool and a web services driven business travel organiser were unveiled by Blueprint CEO Richard Bron to mark the London-based company’s introduction to the media.
The first, Blueprint Network Tools Version 1.0 (‘NetTools’), is a portable network management tool for remote network/server management. Net Tools allows IT administrators, technicians and support staff to control their networks and servers from a wireless Pocket PC or other forms of web enabled device including the Palm, Smart Phone, Mobile Phone and laptop computer. Using a wireless Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Dial Up connection to a local area network (LAN) over General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) or Global System for Mobile (GSM) networks, NetTools can detect and fix problems as well as initiate routines or run applications from any location. This is much more cost effective and practical than traditional methods, which often involve having to make frequent trips back to the office or having to carry a cumbersome laptop computer.
Second is ServPoint Version 1.0 Standard Edition for Restaurants. ServPoint is a mobile order processing and fulfilment system for restaurants, clubs and bars that handles everything from the initial placement of an order through to the final payment of the bill. ServPoint works with no additional database software, allowing it to be deployed at a fraction of the cost of traditional restaurant management systems. Touch-screen displays located in kitchens and bars display the list of current orders. Staff there can then update the order status and send messages direct to staff waiting on tables. When the status of an order changes the relevant member of the waiting staff is notified via an on-screen alert. Wireless capability allows waiting staff to take and change orders from anywhere in the restaurant, thus reducing travelling to and from the kitchen and speeding up the ordering process. Another benefit is order delegation and hand-over. Because all waiters have access to s!
pecific table information any of them can take over serving a particular table if required. In summary, ServPojnt enables restaurant workers to collaborate more effectively by greatly reducing the opportunities for error resulting from poor communications.
Blueprint’s third announcement is TravelMate Version 3.0, a powerful set of desktop and Pocket PC Travel Management Applications for the business traveller or ‘road warrior’. The system can create itineraries, record expenses, calculate air miles and convert currencies and units of measurement. A unique feature is its ability to synchronise Microsoft Outlook and Pocket Outlook, allowing the user to schedule upcoming meetings with others through the shared calendar as well as view his or her own journey itinerary in a familiar format on the Pocket PC.
It is also possible to synchronise TravelMate with Travel Web Services provided by Blueprint. Exchange Rates are available immediately. Other services, available from 2003, will include access to live feeds including, Airline Flight Schedules, Frequent Flyer Account Details, Travel Industry Directory and City Guides.
‘These are just three examples of how mobile applications development is helping businesses to more fully realise the potential of the highly versatile PDA platform for their mobile workforce,’ said Richard Bron, Blueprint CEO. ‘We will continue to be at the forefront of such developments, providing businesses with real-time anywhere communications access to employees, productivity improvements and more efficient ways to bring products and services to market.’
Pricing and Licensing
A single-user licence for TravelMate will cost £25 in the UK, plus a small annual subscription for Blueprint Web Services.
NetTools Server licences are £300 each, with Client Access licences at £80. Web Application licences are £500 and provide unlimited client access.
The ServPoint system software costs from £1,000 per server and £200 per client, plus deployment and customisation.
All prices are subject to VAT.
Blueprint, a Microsoft Gold Partner for Collaborative Solutions, develops innovative software, enterprise portals, intranets, websites, XML Web Services and mobile applications that give corporations the freedom to extend, integrate and deploy their systems quickly and easily in line with changing market conditions. Adherence to best-practice development methodologies, and technology partnerships with Microsoft and other leading industry players, are helping establish Blueprint as experts in the wireless extension of collaborative enterprise applications for a growing base of blue chip customers.
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