AvantGo CEO Richard Owen says some business subscribers to the service have already been customizing it for sales-force automation. In fact, "we've been providing [the customization] on a consulting basis for a long time," says Owen. [AvantGo distributes the InformationWeek Daily newsletter.]
Mobile Sales, which sells for $65,000 per 100 seats, operates on Windows NT, Solaris, and Linux systems and supports Research In Motion, Microsoft PocketPC, and Palm-OS devices. The company supports apps from Onyx, Oracle, Siebel Systems, and others.
Sales-force automation seems a natural fit for AvantGo, says Gartner analyst Mike McGuire. Getting sales data to staff in the field is important, and doing it wirelessly is increasingly appealing. "AvantGo is creating a good forms-based app, but leaving it flexible so a customer can alter it," McGuire says.
Cigarette maker Liggett Group Inc. is looking into the new software. Some employees subscribe to AvantGo for news and the company itself uses a sales-force app from Onyx, says Mike Lehman, Liggett's manager of information systems. He says his company could have used AvantGo for this task before, but creating it would have been too time consuming.