Chinese firms focus on mobility systems

Updated: 2013-11-20 11:17

By Amy He in New York (China Daily USA)

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The size of China's mobile-device market makes it the ideal environment for companies to incorporate new mobility products and systems into their business processes, according to a Microsoft Corp executive.

China has more mobile phones than anywhere in the world, so its growth in terms of mobility and phones outpaces anyone, said Susan Hauser, corporate vice president for the Enterprise and Partner Group at Microsoft, in a discussion with Chinese media representatives on Monday. "In a lot of ways, they're far ahead of a lot of places where mobility and phones [used] in the enterprises are just coming in," she said.

 Chinese firms focus on mobility systems

Susan Hauser, corporate vice-president of Microsoft, speaks at Business Mobility Event in New York on Nov 18. Wan Li / For China Daily

Companies in a wide range of industries are focused on changing the way their employees work, by "leveraging mobility," Hauser said, and mobility is a growing focus for Microsoft, she added. As defined by consulting firm Accenture, mobility is the ability of employees to use and exchange corporate data no matter the location of the user, using small devices.

A Microsoft survey of its customers showed that mobility has become "the No 1 area where companies are seeing that they need to make a different kind of investment," she said. "They learned in the past that just getting a bunch of devices and handing them out doesn't really do anything." The sentiment is nice, but it doesn't improve the way people work, Hauser added.

Microsoft is working with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China Construction Bank.

China Construction Bank partnered with Microsoft to renovate its 14,000 branches with Windows 8 tablets, the company's latest operating system.

With these tablets, branch supervisors can retrieve customer information, according to material from Microsoft. At ICBC, the bank's electronic banking group built a new mobile e-banking platform on Windows 8.

"[Banks] are reimagining what the experiences are in a branch," Hauser said. It goes beyond standing on line to see a bank teller or using the ATM: Banks may want their ATMs to up-sell customers, said Hauser, or they may want their tellers to talk to customers while they're on line, using mobile devices to bring up customer information at the same time, a capability granted by mobility.

Another area of mobility growth, Hauser said is education. Last November, the tech giant signed an education alliance agreement with the Hongkou District Education Bureau. Schools will use Microsoft devices to teach students in an "interactive" learning environment, according to the company.

(China Daily USA 11/20/2013 page2)