Xora Platform has Intuitive Surgical's sales and service teams go wireless

Mountain View 31 July 2001Xora Inc., a company which empowers the mobile workforce by providing wireless and voice access to enterprise applications, has been selected by Intuitive Surgical Inc. to deliver the Xora Platform for Intuitive's mobile deployment across North America and Europe. Intuitive Surgical manufactures the da Vinci Surgical System, the technology which can provide a surgeon with the intuitive control, range of motion, fine tissue manipulation capability, and 3D visualisation characteristic of open surgery. Using the Xora Platform 3.0, Intuitive Surgical will build a wireless solution which transforms its current communications into a real time, comprehensive array of information that supports customer relationships and equipment servicing, as well as e-mail, tasks, and calendaring from Microsoft Exchange.


"We are excited to use Xora as the core of our wireless solution for sales and service", commented Steve Lucchesi, director of information services for Intuitive Surgical. "Xora helps us complete our development quickly, in weeks, not months, and allows us to develop applications in our existing environment."

Two teams essential to Intuitive Surgical's success will benefit from the new solution: sales and field service. For the sales force, Xora will create the first real time sales force automation channel for customer information such as contacts, opportunities, leads, accounts, and surgical procedure information. For service technicians, the deployment will enable access to customer support information, parts logging and ordering, and time and expenses reporting by offering wireless access to the ClearSupport, ClearLogistics, and ClearSales modules of the Clarify application.

Now, service technicians will be notified within seconds when customers request a repair, with the ability to respond quickly, order parts, update, and close service tickets when a job is complete. At launch, access points will include hand-held devices and laptops, with advanced wireless phones poised for speech-enabled upgrades. Both sales and service teams will also be able to access Microsoft Exchange e-mail, calendar, and scheduling through a wireless connection.

"Our efficiency is greatly enhanced because our IT staff can write code in the existing application environments and does not have to deal with toolkits or markup languages such as WML or wireless device characteristics. In addition, we value Xora's flexibility which includes support for speech-recognition, allowing for future expansion of our wireless programme", added Mr. Lucchesi.

"This project represents a breakthrough for both Intuitive Surgical as a company and for the high-tech medical and manufacturing industries", stated Sanjay Shirole, CEO of Xora. "Moving ahead, real time connections between enterprise data and all operational units of a company will become standard for industry leading organisations. With the Intuitive Surgical project, Xora is proving again that it will power many such deployments in the future."

"Wireless infrastructure players who can offer comprehensive solutions for the mobile professional and mobile data collector environments deliver a broader solution portfolio to the enterprise customer and provide an incremental growth opportunity as additional mobile users are added", commented Stephen Drake, Research Manager of IDC's Wireless and Mobile Enterprise Access service. "Moving ahead, the firms which can show a concrete return on investment (ROI) model with strategic benefits will have a tremendous competitive advantage."

Backing the Intuitive Surgical project is Xora's Platform 3.0, which is designed to link back-office software applications with wireless and wireline phones, PDAs, and the Web. The patent-pending platform affirms Xora's advantages of pre-built solutions, its ability to deliver any content to any device, and unprecedented deployment speeds. Now, Xora clients can achieve ROI in 90 days or less with mobile applications which directly connect wireless devices such as PDAs or cellular phones to back office applications. The Xora Platform adds wireless access capabilities to enterprise software including ERP, CRM, supply chain, databases, Web content and corporate e-mail, including groundbreaking speech recognition capabilities.

Intuitive's da Vinci Surgical System has received market clearance by the FDA to perform surgery. The system consists of a surgeon's viewing and control console with an integrated, high-performance InSite 3D vision system, a patient-side cart consisting of three robotic arms which position and precisely manoeuvre endoscopic instruments and an endoscope, and a variety of articulating EndoWrist Instruments. By integrating computer-enhanced technology with technical skills, Intuitive believes that its system enables surgeons to perform better surgery in a manner never before experienced. The da Vinci Surgical System seamlessly and directly translates the surgeons' natural hand, wrist, and finger movements on instrument controls at the surgeons' console outside the patient's body into corresponding micro-movements of the instrument tips positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports.

Leslie Versweyveld

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