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UK set to follow Denmark’s lead in mobile business solution adoption

European firms now spend 32% of their telecom and networking budgets on mobility solutions, and 70% of enterprises use some type of mobile application, according to a Forrester survey. Mobility solutions continue to play an important part in business due to increased productivity, shorter working processes, more flexibility for the user and boosted employee morale. Danish mobility expert HandStep plans to help UK businesses take the lead in this area.

Denmark has recently been ranked as IT user country no. 1, according to a survey from the World Economic Forum. The high level of IT usage among the citizens is closely connected to increased mobility. HandStep, a mobility expert delivering customised mobile solutions to businesses and public organisations, has experienced solid success in Denmark, largely because Danish businesses and the Government have been especially supportive of mobility take-up. HandStep has also been quick to develop strong relationships with partners, such as Microsoft, which has boosted developments and results.

HandStep’s founder, Brian Nielsson, comments on the mobility take-up increase in Denmark. “The early solutions were available for business leaders, who demanded advanced usage functions. But today all employees – in the office or in the field - can benefit from mobile devices, plus security is now very strong, eliminating worries that companies had about offering their employees mobile solutions.”

In Denmark, an important factor in widespread adoption is compatibility of mobile solutions technology with companies’ ERP and CRM systems. Additionally, business and government bodies support mobile solutions and understand the added value to the organisation and employees, and the reduced costs.

Compared to the Nordics, the UK mobile solutions market is large and relatively unexplored. HandStep’s business model with a broad focus, short time-to-market, experience and customer references can be easily applied in the UK:

“Today we have passed the initial difficulties with mobile solutions, and are experiencing improved Internet connections, better hardware and a greater need to check emails and calendars on the move”, says Brian Nielsson. “In Denmark, the government has acknowledged that mobile solutions help healthcare personnel provide better service with less stress and large businesses support the benefits of mobile solutions.”

In Denmark, local councils have taken the lead in implementing mobile solutions. The government initiated a programme to increase mobility and effectiveness in the healthcare sector in 2006. Nurses, helping people in their homes, can handle 2-3 extra visits per day, as they can identify and register all information necessary directly from the mobile device, such as schedules, reporting and personal information. In addition, the face-to-face time with patients is increased by 22 % and it is expected that mobile devices by the end of 2007 will become standard for homecare personnel.

Mobile solutions also benefit many companies. For example, a sales manager in the field, wanting to register new customer orders can cut the registration and communications process from up to 25 processes to around 5 actions by using a mobile device. A postal worker having to collect mail from a designated route at a specific time every day can see his daily route, register pick-ups and check mails at the same time – without having to check-in at the Post Office.

HandStep develops mobile solutions for a range of public bodies, including municipalities and regions in Denmark. Business clients include large companies such as Arriva, Carlsberg, Post Danmark (the national postal service), Pilgrim (global jewellery company).

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.