Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in networking
for the Internet. One hundred sixty million Internet
users worldwide rely on Cisco equipment. Since
shipping its first product in 1986, the company has
grown into a global market leader that holds No. 1 or
No. 2 market share in virtually every market segment
in which it participates, with $13.4 billion in revenue
and more than 23,000 employees.
In North America, Cisco Systems maintains its growth
and leadership through a distributed field sales
organization. They need mobility and timely,
accurate information to keep pace in today’s
competitive internet economy. To that end, Cisco
deploys best-of-breed eSales applications to reduce
administrative burden and increase productivity for
the Field Sales organization.
An increasingly mobile work force has ever-growing
demands: they need ready access to information,
rapid data transfer, and fast action to meet client
requirements. Cisco sales representatives were
turning to handheld computers, or Personal Digital
Assistants (PDAs), to respond to those demands.
"Our initial field evaluation suggested that over 50%
of our sales force were using some type of PDA to
store contact information, a trend we believed would
only continue to increase," noted Nora Sandoval,
Cisco’s Manager of Americas Sales Productivity. “To
help eliminate duplicate data entry into disparate
eSales tools and further increase sales productivity,
support for PDA devices will become a necessity."
Synchronizing data between the PDA device and the
eSales database was neither automated nor bi-directional.
It required a series of imports in order to
update contacts and accounts, an effort not only time
consuming but non-productive.