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M-GROUPS DELIVERS NEW MOBILE BUSINESS COMMUNICATION PRODUCT

Multi-user business texting has never been simpler with the launch of a new web-based solution by m-groups. The days of pagers and time-consuming ring rounds are coming to an end. m-groups allows businesses to harness the ubiquity of mobile phones to send text messages to pre-assigned groups of users, keeping everyone in the loop simultaneously.


m-groups has been developed by Yakara plc, the Edinburgh based software company. The release of this new communication tool comes at a time when O2 announces its plans to follow Orange and withdraw its paging service from the UK.

Commenting on the introduction of m-groups, Stuart Malcolm, Managing Director of Yakara added:

“Last summer, m-groups was used to improve communication and co-ordinate the activities of the 600 crew members involved in staging the Robbie Williams UK concert tour. Based on its success we decided to adapt m-groups for the SME market to enable them to get in touch with large groups of people quickly and efficiently. We host the service, which means it is immediately available using employees’ existing mobile phones and the Internet, and because customers don't have any infrastructure locally, there are no IT support headaches. With a crystal-clear pricing structure, no set up fees and the ease of using existing equipment, our clients are finding it a reliable and cost effective communication tool.”

While consumer text messaging continues its unabated growth in the UK, with figures breaking the 2 billion barrier in September (a 23% increase from last year according to the Mobile Data Association (MDA), the big question for 2005 will be whether it can gain a significant foothold in the business sector.

Stuart Malcolm explains:

“We believe that business text messaging is currently under exploited. Whilst individuals are increasingly using text messaging for business purposes, many firms are only just waking up to the idea of using web and pc based texting solutions to communicate with their employees, suppliers and customers. However, the feedback we have had from clients and the superb response to our free online trial suggests that once a business adopts the technology, centrally co-ordinated texting quickly becomes one of their key communication tools.”

Examples include Edinburgh based travel company Rabbies Trail Burners, which relies on m-groups to dispatch jobs and information to its many drivers and guides, and Mercat Tours which uses the technology to organise its workforce.

Commenting on the introduction of m-groups, Des Brogan, Director of Mercat Tours, describes how the technology has helped:

“Before using m-groups we found it extremely time consuming to arrange which tour guides were available to run our corporate events, visits to historical sites and tours of underground Edinburgh, particularly at short notice. m-groups has enabled us to dispatch jobs via text message to all our staff at the click of a button so we can assemble teams quickly in response to customer requests. The system reliability, cost effectiveness and the discrete nature of texting, means that m-groups has rapidly become the core tool for mobilising our workforce.”

Stuart Malcolm added:

“Whether it be sending appointment details, message alerts or co-ordination information, the benefits of a fast, cost effective form of communication service are clear, and the accessibility of m-groups means it is highly appropriate for many businesses.”



ENDS


For further information contact: Jason Longworth or Kathryn Shanks, Great Circle Communications, 0131 225 4646 or jal@greatcircle.co.uk / kbs@greatcircle.co.uk



Notes to Editors:

www.m-groups.com / www.yakara.com



Yakara PLC is a leading developer of mobile community and lifestyle applications for wireless network operators, mobile portals and brand owners.



Yakara owns, markets, hosts and supports the m-groups.com service, which offers a range of mobile applications (workforce management, customer relationship management, and mobile office) on a simple pay-as-you-go basis. m-groups is the only mobile business solution that offers a comprehensive range of applications on a single mobile phone number, which means that the customer has total control over costs.



Yakara was established in 1995 to create software products for the telecommunications industry. Yakara’s headquarters are in Edinburgh, United Kingdom and customers include some of the world’s leading telecommunication infrastructure manufacturers and network operators.

'Yakara’, ‘m-groups’ and ‘txtm8s’ are trademarks of Yakara plc.