The deployment will be small, at only 200 handsets, and will join an existing collection of 100 devices. The handsets were however chosen ahead of iPhones, which were also considered and which would have been significantly more expensive. The newly deployed Windows Phones, including models such as the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 920, were chosen based on cost benefits and security.
The phones have also helped improve the productivity of its commercial team, which previously required software installation and updates to be made on each individual device. Now Shell is able to make these changes directly on the server, and the program is updated automatically on all fixed and mobile networks.
The handsets will be powered by Blink Mobile, a sales force automation solution developed by Microsoft solutions partner Blink Systems. The system offered Shell distributors streamlines searches, accelerates the ordering process and is easy to use for the sales force.
In addition to the cost benefit and reliability of the platform, Windows Phone integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Microsoft servers used at Shell. Windows Phone supports advanced security and administration solutions, which can be synced with other devices running the same platform.
“This effortless integration has been a determining factor in the decision-making process for companies such as Shell,” said Celso Winik, managing director of Windows Phone at Microsoft.
With Microsoft soon to own Nokia’s handset division, I expect the company to push these integrated solutions even more aggressively in the future.