Corporations with established platforms of enterprise software are more likely than other companies to invest in wireless technology, a study by AMR Research Inc. says.

“While the general market for wireless technology is still stumbling along, there is clear evidence that leading-edge companies are beginning to get serious about wireless,” AMR says. “Companies are applying wireless in e-mail systems and in areas expected to bring good return on investment, such as in sales force automation, field service and supply chain applications.” AMR, Boston, notes that wireless investments are being led by companies it defines as “ECM-ready,” or companies that have the infrastructure in place to practice enterprise commerce management. AMR says most ECM-ready companies are also using customer relationship management, supply chain management and Internet procurement applications to run their business.

In a survey of 686 companies, it identified 4 percent as ECM-ready. But of these 4 percent, three-quarters have invested in wireless technology, compared to only 43 percent for all other companies surveyed.

Moreover, it noted that 70 percent of the ECM-ready companies had spent more than $500,000 and 41 percent had spent more than $1 million on wireless technology. In contrast, it said far more than half of the other companies had spent under $500,000.

By investing in mobile applications in areas such as sales force automation, field service and supply chains, companies are maximizing their returns on investment by using wireless to expedite the flow of information from these applications to key managers, AMR says.

“Our research shows a strong correlation between wireless application deployment and internal and external integration projects,” AMR says. “The two technologies are a natural fit, as most mobile applications rely on an integrated set of data.”

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