Unisys to trial WAP apps through ASP service

Unisys intends to WAP-enable a number of the applications being offered through its ASP service.

Unisys intends to WAP-enable a number of the applications being offered through its ASP service.

Unisys general manager of ASP services Sean McDonald declines to mention specific products, but Auckland software company Stayinfront — formerly The Great Elk — has announced that its customer relationship management (CRM) system Web Works (known as SplashNet in its ASP version) has been WAP-enabled and will run in this mode through ASP.

Unisys’s ASP service also runs Genie Systems’ Orderware, which looks like another prime candidate for WAP-enabling.

Stayinfront has two New Zealand customers “committed to trials” of Web Works over WAP phones, says technology chief Tony Bullen, but he says most companies will probably not begin practical use of WAP until the second generation of the technology comes out, probably in about six months’ time.

Current WAP phones “have some problems”, he says. Some simply “hang” on occasion, and need to be restarted.

Web Works over WAP was released in the US in August, and arrived in New Zealand last month.

Bullen believes the medium will be useful for travelling salespeople who want to interrogate the CRM system on sales opportunities in their area, or simply update themselves on previous dealings their company has had with a customer before walking through their door.

WAP enables access to such information at minimal cost and in a small form-factor, he says — a convenience and cost-of-ownership saver particularly for independent sales-force agents, who usually have to buy their own equipment. WAP will naturally only be useful for brief information and small applications, he says. “You wouldn’t plot a sales history on it.”

While commercial use of WAP at present might be a bit uncertain, now is the time to start trials, Bullen suggests, so as to be confident with the technology when it becomes practical.

Stayinfront is running its own internal trial of WAP.

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