Summary:With 3G enabled-Lenovo netbooks, the company\u2019s 800-strong salesforce in India can now send sales reports on the go.Highlights:The sales personnel are its biggest assets, and yet until two years back, they didn\u2019t even have company e-mail IDs.The biggest challenge for AZ was to track IT assets outside our office and ensure that they are compliant with the company\u2019s policies The software has ensured that Kumar can have his IT assets spread across the country and still get a peaceful night\u2019s sleep.Organization:\u00a0 With the only dedicated research center for Tuberculosis in the world, AstraZeneca India (AZ) is\u00a0a multinational pharmaceutical firm. The company recently created a stir in the pharma industry by being the first to announce that it\u2019s scrapping payments for doctors to attend international medical congresses. This move was aimed at tackling corrupt practices in the pharma industry, especially bribing of doctors to promote AZ\u2019s products. \u00a0Business Case:\u00a0AstraZeneca has 800 sales representatives spread across tier one, tier two and tier three cities of India, who get just three minutes to sell their drugs to doctors. These sales personnel are its biggest assets, and yet until two years back, they didn\u2019t even have company e-mail IDs. \u201cOur mail server doesn\u2019t allow Web access. Since the sales people would work on the go and report to zonal offices only once in a quarter, we weren\u2019t able to give them the official AstraZeneca e-mail IDs,\u201d explains S N Krishan Kumar, IS-manager (equivalent to CIO in the organization).\u00a0Consequently, at the end of each day, the sales people had to use either their personal computers or rely on cyber caf\u00e9s to access their sales application, Delta (developed in-house) to do their sales reporting. Admittedly, it wasn\u2019t the most efficient way to do things. \u00a0Challenges:\u00a0 Kumar had for long wanted to empower the company\u2019s salesforce with laptops to make their task easier. But being in a research oriented pharma sector, the risk of information security was high. \u201cWe follow a high security and compliance policy within the organization. The biggest challenge for us was to track IT assets outside our office and ensure that they are compliant with the company\u2019s policies,\u201d he explains. \u00a0Kumar had been evaluating various solutions in the market. Finally, he came across Kaseya's automated managed services solution that seemed to meet all his needs. The solution would enable Kumar to remotely track all activities on the netbook. But he wasn\u2019t convinced. \u00a0\u201cBefore we could implement the solution, we asked Kaseya to take us to a client who was using the same solution to see the benefits ourselves. We were lucky that the vendor\u2019s client was one of the largest pharma companies in India: Himalaya drugs. We saw the solution work for them and we were convinced,\u201d says Kumar. \u00a0First Steps:\u00a0AstraZeneca issued 800 Lenovo netbooks to its salesforce. Every netbook had the AMS software pre-installed. \u201cWe can push anti-virus patches, update software and manage them just like we manage our assets on premise, \u201csays Kumar. Along with the netbook, the company has given the salesforce a Reliance data card to access the Internet on the go and an RSA token for secure access to the company\u2019s Intranet. What\u2019s more the Lenovo netbook can also support 3G. Also, some of the company\u2019s salesforce use tablet PCs and the software is compatible with that as well. \u00a0Benefits: The software has ensured that Kumar can have his IT assets spread across the country and still get a peaceful night\u2019s sleep. \u201cThe good thing is none of the official company data, e-mails or application, reside locally on the machine. They are saved on the server. Without the access code, it would be a dumb machine for whoever lays their hands on it,\u201d he says. \u00a0Besides ensuring stringent security, it has helped business monitor the productivity of the salesforce better. \u201cIf someone does not log onto his computer for three days, we immediately get in touch with him to find out what\u2019s happening,\u201d he says. \u00a0Having netbooks, has helped the salesforce ditch the practice of carrying bulky sales brochures and switching to smart digital brochures to make their sale more effective. After all three minutes is all they have.