December 20, 2004, 9:47 AM — For companies seeking ways to increase the efficiency of their field forces, Finland's Nokia Corp. has introduced a one-touch system to connect teams with their back-office systems.
The Nokia Field Force Solution consists of the Nokia Local Interactions Server and client software, based on J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) technology, which work with the company's mobile RFID (radio frequency identification) handset technology, the Espoo-based manufacturer said Monday.
By simply touching RFID tags on objects, such as meters or other pieces of equipment, field service personnel using one of three RFID-enabled phones from Nokia can initiate a real-time information exchange. Data is sent either as a text message or via GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) from the handset via the Local Interactions Server platform to enterprise back-end systems, which manage work scheduling, task management and other database information services.
In addition to sending information on location, work time or task status from the field to the office, field service personnel can also receive information, such as service instructions or work assignments.
"This is an end-to-end solution that can help companies reduce field service costs while improving quality," said Sirpa Nordlund, business development manager at Nokia.
Nordlund was unable to provide prices for the Local Interactions Server, which Nokia will sell directly to enterprises or provide as a hosted service, but said the client software is free as a software development kit.
Currently, Nokia offers three phones with integrated RFID readers: the 5140 and 3220 models and the NFC (near field communications) shell phone.