BackgroundHitwise is the world’s leading online competitive intelligence service. Each day, Hitwise monitors how more than 25 million Internet users interact with over 800,000 websites across 160 industry categories.
As Hitwise staff spend a lot of their time out of the office visiting clients and prospects, the company turned to T-Mobile for a range of mobile solutions that enable its account managers to provide a better level of service to an increased number of customers, at all times, wherever they are.
Hitwise is a marketing intelligence company, specifically focused on online marketing.
By monitoring more people, more websites, more often, Hitwise provides marketers with timely and actionable marketing insights on how their online presence compares to competitive websites.
Hitwise customers use this information to maximize the return on their online investment, in efforts such as affiliate programmes, search marketing, online advertising, content development and lead generation.
Such is the nature of the market in which Hitwise operates that most of the company’s employees are sales people. Divided into teams of account managers, who service and support existing clients, and new business managers, that look for new opportunities, both groups require a great deal of mobility.
The ability to stay in touch and exchange information with customers, prospects and the office back in London at all times, is essential, wherever they are.
Some account managers service up to 40 customers each, located all over Europe. Therefore, international travel is an essential part of the job and Hitwise employees need fast, reliable and effective mobile voice and data communications in order to provide a first-rate level of support to their global customer base.
To implement a successful mobile working practice, Hitwise adopted a number of solutions from T-Mobile, including handsets for communication; Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) for email and internet access on the move; and 3G data cards for those who use laptops more frequently.
Stephen Newton, General Manager of Hitwise UK, explains, “We first decided to switch our mobile communications from Orange to T-Mobile three years ago.
"Since moving across, we have noticed a real improvement in our communications, and these benefits have impacted upon our efficiency, productivity and ultimately on the bottom line.”
All of Hitwise’s Account Managers and New Business Managers have been equipped with a T-Mobile PDA device - some with the MDA Pro but most with the latest device, the MDA Vario II.
Due to the nature of its IT infrastructure, Hitwise opted to go for the MDA devices rather than BlackBerrys. It was also felt that the MDA devices were more appropriate due to the additional functionality they possess such as access to Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
Hitwise also adopted three T-Mobile web’n’walk data cards for those staff that need to be able to work on a laptop whilst out of the office. It was felt that these cards would benefit those people that needed to draft documents and work on presentations on a large screen, whilst on the move.
The data cards provide broadband speed (HSDPA) internet access and are quad-band, meaning that they work on mobile networks in the US and across Europe, a vital benefit as many of Hitwise’s customers are located overseas.
Since switching to T-Mobile, Hitwise’s mobile expenditure has fallen by 25-30 percent, thanks to T-Mobile’s innovative bundled price plans.
The company now uses T-Mobile Business 1-Plan, which allows each of the company’s mobile users to share a tailored allowance of voice, data, text and HotSpot usage.
Calls from the UK to Europe and North America are included within this allowance as well as in-company mobile to mobile calls.
Newton, says “The fact that we have this tailored package means that I know exactly what our mobile spend will be each month. As a company, we use a huge amount of data. Many of our users download up to 600 MB each month.
“Being on this price plan has led to a significant reduction in our overall mobile expenditure, particularly on overseas communication with our colleagues in New York and San Francisco. It really doesn’t matter where our account managers are located, whether in the US or Europe, I know that we won’t have to pay additional charges when we call them.”
Smarter working and better communication
Since switching to T-Mobile, Hitwise’s employees have used a range of T-Mobile’s PDA devices, including the MDA Pro and the MDA Vario II. Over 25 of the company’s employees currently use these devices. Staff are allowed to choose the device that most suits their needs.
“The MDA Pro and MDA Vario II really do offer our staff a virtual office. Wherever they are in the world, they are able to check and respond to emails, work on Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, and access the internet. Those staff that use the Vario II, such as myself, can now benefit from T-Mobile’s new HSDPA network, which is so fast that it is like having fixed line broadband speeds but on your mobile device.”
Improved client services
Newton also believes that customer relationships have benefited since his team have started to use T-Mobile’s range of mobile communications solutions.
He says, “Having fast and reliable mobile communications in place has meant that our account managers are now able to respond to clients more quickly whilst they are out of the office.
"Also, being able to work effectively whilst in transit has reduced downtime amongst account managers, making them more productive and able to look after more accounts.”
Newton adds, “Indeed, some of these account managers are now responsible for over 40 customers, which would have been unthinkable before they had PDAs. This increase in efficiency and productivity has certainly impacted on the bottom line.”
Whilst Hitwise has clearly already reaped the benefits of using T-Mobile’s devices and services, Newton is keen to continue to look for new opportunities to increase client response times, efficiency and productivity.
As Newton says, “We are confident that T-Mobile will continue to provide us with new and innovative devices, services and tariffs to allow us to further increase efficiency and productivity in the future.”
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