and Retriever Communications have rolled out a mobile data forms
service aimed at sales reps, health workers and customer service
Designed for sales forces and employees working in the field,
Retriever is a data tracking service based on digital forms that
works through a Windows CE handheld and GSM mobile phone. It
allows remote capture, transmission and retrieval of data.
Optus Retriever is designed for organisations with 30 or more
employees working in the field, such as sales reps, and the
service industries. There are three products: HealthPad for
roaming healthcare workers, Salespad for reps and Servicepad for
maintenance and customer service troops.
An up-front fee of $20,000 per organisation covers setup;
tailoring the Optus Retriever to suit the specific needs of the
company and training field staff to use it.
Revenue from the $20,000 up-front fee goes to Retriever, while
Retriever and Optus split the revenue from each users’ monthly
bill of $140 (plus call costs). Billing is done through Optus.
John Filmer, Director Enterprise Cable & Wireless Optus,
would not say how Retriever and Optus split the revenue.
Filmer said he didn’t think the cost of setting up and
maintaining the Optus Retriever would be a barrier to entry for
“We estimate Australian businesses can reduce their field
support administration costs by 40 percent a year with savings on
double entry, incorrect data, miscommunication and unnecessary
travel,” he said.
Mary Brittain-White, managing director and founder of Retriever
Communications, said she expects to have two to three thousand
subscriptions in Australia by the end of this year.
Although not announcing the European partner yet,
Brittain-White expects two thousand subscriptions in Europe by
Christmas, following a July launch in Italy, France and UK.
Venture Capital Partners and Momentum have provided the first
round of venture capital underwriting Retriever’s international
deployments in 2000. Retriever plans to float next year.
Optus’ Filmer hinted there were many more deals in the coming
months like the one with Retriever, where partners use Optus’
networks, billing service and marketing muscle to drive their
Optus Retriever is compatible with any pen-based handheld
computer using Windows CE as an operating system, such as Vadem
Clio 1050 and Symbol PPT2700. While it does not support Palm OS,
Brittain-White said it may by next year.
Compatible mobile phone handsets include the Nokia 7110 and
Ericsson SH888, and Optus Retriever can be integrated with
standard computer applications and email, suiting organisation’s
Retriever Communications acquired the intellectual property of
Sydney-based ceMIS - Centre of Excellence in Mobile Information
Systems, a subsidiary of Apple – back in 1997 and developed the
mobile application service to be delivered over Optus’ mobile