Tesco Selects Symbols MC50 Enterprise Digital Assistants to Help Store Managers Stay Connected

Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: SBL), The Enterprise Mobility Company,  today announced that Tesco, one of the worlds leading international retailers, is now using Symbols MC50 enterprise digital assistant (EDA)  handheld devices within its United Kingdom stores. 

The deployment of the MC50 EDAs is part of Tescos initiative to enable store managers to spend more time on the sales floor by ensuring they can stay connected to email and other business-essential IT applications while away from their desk.  Tesco has equipped its store managers with 750 Symbol MC50 EDAs with Microsoft Windows Mobile software across 750 of its 1300 UK outlets. The familiar platform makes is easy for Tesco to integrate the MC50 devices into its existing IT infrastructure, ensuring minimal roll-out maintenance and training costs.

Tesco reviewed a number of digital assistants and chose Symbols MC50 EDA as it proved to be the most durable EDA available, with a built-in bar code scanner and voice communication capabilities. These features enable managers to have the ability to conduct activities on the sales floor which previously would have required a visit to the back office -- such as email access, pricing checks, reviewing store sales reports or checking an item or category performance.

Using Symbol MC50s will help managers spend more time on the selling floor while still remaining connected to essential IT applications, said Simon Hick, project manager at Tesco. The use of email on the shop floor frees around seven to eight hours of a store managers time per week.

 The MC50 EDA offers an enterprise-level mobility solution targeted at mobile executives who want to capture, move and manage customer and business information to and from the point of business activity, said Todd Abbott, senior vice president, worldwide operations, Symbol Technologies. With the MC50 handheld, customers are able to increase employee productivity and efficiency, resulting in improved customer responsiveness and satisfaction.

Herbert Retail, a Symbol Premier Business Partner, was responsible for the complete physical roll-out of the MC50 mobile computers including the deployment, configuration and maintenance procedures across all 750 UK Tesco outlets.  Herbert Retail also trained Tescos store managers on how to effectively use the MC50.

The combination of Symbols MC50 EDAs running on Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 software with Herbert Retails implementation and training expertise is a clear advantage for Tesco, comments Martyn Cole, head of retail industry services for Microsoft. Weve seen a huge surge of interest from retailers in mobile technology over the past year[1]. Enabling the store manager to spend more time on the shop floor at Tesco demonstrates mobile solutions are fast emerging as an important lever in the drive for competitive advantage.

Tesco is planning to develop and roll out more Microsoft .NET-based solutions on the MC50 enterprise digital assistant over the next three months. Additional business-essential applications will utilize the MC50s voice over IP (VoIP) capabilities to provide voice services. Tesco is also looking to trial the Symbol MC50-based solution to departmental heads in store before the end of the year.

Tesco is considering adding current desktop applications to the Symbol MC50 device to support customers, finance, and operations. This service is currently anticipated to be available by the end of November.

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