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10/20/2009
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AT&T Pushes Mobile Enterprise Apps

The wireless carrier is extending its enterprise mobile platforms to the hospitality and consumer goods markets.

AT&T is expanding its enterprise-grade mobile application platform to new markets, and it will be bringing its hosted service to the hospitality and consumer goods industries.

The company's Mobile Enterprise Applications platform enables businesses to create, deploy, and manage industry-specific programs for a variety of mobile devices. This could lead to apps like sales force automation on the go, customer-relationship management software, and programs that give field workers real-time checks on inventory levels.

For the consumer goods markets, AT&T said this could lead to mobile programs that give merchandisers real-time access to critical data in the field. The company's hospitality programs offers access to work orders and service requests, message-tracking capabilities, and the reduction of paper waste through radio communications. AT&T said its enterprise app platform will work with multiple back ends, and various smartphones and other mobile electronic devices.

"Today's announcement represents the latest milestone in AT&T's focus on broadening its capabilities in line-of-business mobile application solutions, providing choice and simplicity for businesses of all sizes," said Chris Hill, VP of AT&T's mobile product management, in a statement.

The move comes as mobile applications are garnering a lot of attention on the consumer side, and this is leading to pressure to allow these programs into enterprises.

The momentum with apps is primarily due to the success of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, which has already seen more than 2 billion apps downloaded in less than a year. This has had a ripple effect throughout the rest of the smartphone industry, as Microsoft, Google, Research In Motion, and Nokia have also rolled out their own ways to browse, buy, download, and install apps over the air.


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