Arcapita Bank arms executives with Blackberrys

Arcapita Bank is deploying BlackBerry devices to keep its executives connected and increase productivity. The Bahraini bank has connected the BlackBerry Enterprise Server to its e-mail server, giving executives real-time access to their e-mail on the move.

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By  Peter Branton Published  April 17, 2005

Arcapita Bank is deploying BlackBerry devices to keep its executives connected and increase productivity. The Bahraini bank has connected the BlackBerry Enterprise Server to its e-mail server, giving executives real-time access to their e-mail on the move. While BlackBerry has proved to be a sensation in the US and Europe the company which makes the device, Research In Motion (RIM), has not set up operations in the Middle East. Arcapita’s BlackBerry solution is based on a hosting agreement with MTC-Vodafone in the UK, where it has an office. “Due to the fact that we have an office in London, we have a GPRS deal with MTC-Vodafone there, so we can deploy the solution,” said Vikash Bhandari, head of IT for Arcapita. Although it means paying phone connection charges from the UK “the low price of the BlackBerry solution makes it worthwhile for us” he claimed. Arcapita has issued BlackBerry devices to around 35 users so far, with its senior management and other key staff all using them. “In terms of productivity, its great, its effectively changed the way people do their work,” said Bhandari. “People get access to their e-mail, calendaring, SMS, phone, everything in the handset. The first thing we saw was that executives don’t carry their laptops around anymore.” Arcapita is also looking at connecting its customer relationship management (CRM) system to the BlackBerry platform, so that executives will be able to access it through their devices. “Because BlackBerry is Java-compliant, you can write applications in Java and put them on,” said Bhandari. RIM BlackBerry’s shipments are driving the PDA market, according to research firm Gartner, which is tipping the company to be the leading supplier in terms of revenue and units shipped this year.

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