AT&T makes customer portal available to PDA users

Network managers can now access AT&T’s BusinessDirect portal via wireless devices

AT&T announced Wednesday that its customer portal, BusinessDirect, is available to wireless PDA users, which will enable IT managers on the go to request maintenance and monitor network performance while mobile.

Earlier this year AT&T revealed its plans to make BusinessDirect accessible via wireless handheld devices, and this is its initial offering.

The service provider is specifically outfitting its eMaintenance application for wireless users. By entering in a specific URL address, mobile network managers will access the BusinessDirect eMaintenance application, but will view the tool a little differently than they do from their PCs.

“There is a lot of commonality between the portal and the mobile” view, says Robert Sloan, vice president of eSales and service at AT&T. But AT&T “streamlined the application to meet the needs of customers using a PDA verses the portal.”

After entering the URL for mobile access, users are then required to log in using the same user ID and password as if they were logging on to the standard customer service portal.

Once connected, mobile AT&T users can request network maintenance, monitor outstanding trouble tickets and issue new trouble tickets. Customers with a browser-based PDA that has JavaScript available can use the mobile application, Sloan says.

Today, eMaintenance is the only BusinessDirect application available to wireless users. But AT&T is planning to make call routing network management features accessible to mobile customers in the future, Sloan says. Call routing falls under the network management umbrella, he says.

Sloan says the carrier is deciding which features to make available to mobile users based on customer feedback about what would be the most useful.

Mobile access is available to all of AT&T’s BusinessDirect customers for no additional fees.

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