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Autotask launched Autotask LiveMobile on Jan. 10, making its business management platform for IT service providers accessible from handheld devices including smart phones, PDAs and PocketPCs.

The mobile access is designed to tie the activities of technicians in the field to the platform in real time, allowing solution providers better control over service delivery and profitability, on individual clients and their businesses as a whole, said Bob Godgart, founder and chief executive officer of the company.

The access creates a “real-time window into a service provider’s customer and service database, providing service technicians with the most current ‘live’ data from the office, and dispatchers with real-time updates from the field,” according to an Autotask announcement of the release.

“This instant feedback from the field dramatically reduces the time to accurately report billable service time, improves workflow efficiencies, increases field technician productivity and boosts profitability.”

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Technicians will be able to review changes to their schedule, directions to client sites and input billable hours and service information.

Managers and dispatchers will have more access to information form technicians to make decisions such as adding additional calls to speedy technician or changing out a server when too many calls have been logged from a client.

Software Updates Rethought

LiveMobile is the latest of Autotask’s monthly version updates to its software-as-a-service platform, part of Autotask’s strategy keep users engaged with its product and on the edge of their seats, Godgart and users told The Channel Insider.

Each month Autotask pushes out a release to its users, who log in on release day to find release notes and an instructional video.

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The software maker runs four rolling development teams who work on three- to four-month projects. Design teams spend a month storyboarding an enhancement, studying the use case, workflow, server requirements, etc., before architects begin work on the update. Each update typically spends a month on staging servers, before it the live servers are swapped in and the process begins anew.

The monthly releases enable the software maker to bring immediate and usable business value to users as they need it and will become the dominant delivery model for software as SAAS becomes the standard, replacing annual update versions, Godgart said.

The company hit on the idea for LiveMobile as Godgart watched the adoption of mobile devices proliferate during the summer of 2006. Godgart personally visited Verizon Wireless stores every two weeks for several months and queried his client list to observe the adoption firsthand.