My business must have… Blackberry

OSI International Foods provides products and solutions for the food industry. It's been trying to resolve the communication difficulties caused by international travel. Email is heavily used to contact both staff and clients.

In January last year, the company started a trial of Blackberry, a pocket-sized wireless communication tool that automatically lets you know when an email has arrived.

‘The Blackberry was designed to provide directors with an always-on service, enabling us to access email anywhere, anytime. Having easy 24/7 access to email, no matter where we are located has significantly improved the management workload,’ says Doug Gullang, managing director, European Zone, OSI.

The main benefits OSI has seen are hassle-free wireless email, quick and easy calendar updates and the ability to have international roaming.

How it works: Blackberry links to your email service by using a technology known as GPRS, which gives you a fast, secure, ‘always–on’ connection. As well as email, you can access contacts, schedules, tasks and make phone calls.

What the benefits are: It’s a wireless handheld device that can integrate with your existing email. It’s also easy to use, has a good security system and its batteries last longer than other similar devices.

What to watch out for: The costs of GPRS can be expensive, and it can be very slow at times.

What it costs: Vodafone, O2 and T-mobile offer Blackberry products. A Vodafone one will typically set you back around £200 in initial costs, and there will be a monthly service charge dependent on the package you choose. There is no ‘per minute’ charge for being connected to your email.

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