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Verizon Brings 'Field Force' Service To BlackBerry, Motorola

Verizon Wireless wants to make it easier for companies to manage its mobile workforce, and has extended a management tool to some BlackBerry and Motorola smartphones.

Verizon's Field Force Manager is a Web-based application that enables main offices to locate remote employees, as well as schedule and dispatch jobs on-the-go. The service also lets mobile workers clock in remotely, get turn-by-turn navigation, and create an audit trail to validate job information for customers.

The mobile operator has expanded this service to a number of handsets, including Motorola's Moto Q 9c, BlackBerry Curve, and the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition. Verizon said the managing tool will be available on more smartphones later this year.

"Our goal is to not only provide our business customers with the best solutions to keep their business going but to also offer them the most reliable device options," Rob Miller, Verizon Wireless' VP of marketing, said in a statement. "With Field Force Manager now available on numerous devices, our business customers now have a choice in how they stay connected with their workforce in and out of the office."

The remote managing service has three tiers of service, and it starts at $15 a month. It is available now on certain handsets with unlimited e-mail on BlackBerry Internet Service, or Windows Mobile 6.1.

Enterprises are seeing an uptick in mobile employees, with one recent support estimating nearly 75% of workers will need some form of mobile support by 2012. InformationWeek has published a report that showcases how companies are using smartphones and mobile devices to access business applications. The report can be downloaded here (registration required).