Microsoft is now celebrating the second anniversary of its Mobility Partner Advisory Council (MPAC), a program developed to serve as both a feedback mechanism for Microsoft mobility platform development and to provide support and tools to companies making significant investments in the mobility space. Established in February 2002, MPAC counts now with more than 70 partners. Over the past six months, program membership has increased 50 percent, with 28 new partners joining in January alone.
"We created MPAC as an advisory council to give our top partners a forum in which to provide input into Windows Mobile platform development. What it has grown to over the past two years has exceeded our expectations," said Clark Butler, group product manager for the Mobile Devices Partner Group at Microsoft. "MPAC partners have been instrumental in shaping the direction of Windows Mobile-based products, and we have seen a thriving Windows Mobile ecosystem form -- as evidenced by the breadth of enterprise deployments our partners are securing, and the number of exciting consumer applications in the marketplace today built for Windows Mobile."
According to the company, the MPAC has helped its members achieve growth in their businesses that in turn has spurred growth in the mobility industry. Recent deployments and successes from MPAC members include the following:
Over the next three years, TNT Express, a business-to-business express delivery company, plans to deploy to its drivers and warehouse operatives up to 24,000 Windows Mobile-based devices equipped with applications from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. This constitutes the largest customer deployment of Windows Mobile-based devices by a European company to date. The mobile application will track all delivery and collection events in real time and dynamically send driving orders, which will increase productivity and save drivers time.
WellPoint Health Networks Inc., the US second largest health insurer, recently announced a technology initiative with Microsoft and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young to help physicians improve patient care, achieve greater efficiency and realize cost savings for America's healthcare system. This initiative -- the single largest deployment of Windows Mobile-based devices in the United States -- will provide almost 19,000 contracting network physicians across the country with mobile technologies designed to enhance the quality of patient care, reduce administrative costs, and improve physician communications with patients and pharmacists.
Strategic Distribution Inc., a supply chain service program provider, recently contracted Dexterra Inc. to help automate SDI's ordering and inventory processes. Using the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, Dexterra was able to create and deploy a solution to SDI in 30 days, quickly helping to refine and streamline processes for the customer and reducing time spent in inventory processes by as much as 40 percent.
Other offerings available to MPAC members include networking meetings, joint marketing activities with Microsoft and other members, close engagement with key Microsoft sales teams, and the opportunity to participate in early product beta tests, which allows member companies to provide input into the development of future mobile operating systems.
These are some of the companies who joined the council in the last months: