What is the gap between an amazing transformational deployment of mobility versus buying a lot of devices? What is the difference between transformation and just adopting technology?

These are just some of the key questions Vodafone executives and their partners put forward at the Future:Now in Auckland this week.

Organisations from different sectors such as the New Zealand Police and beverage firm Frucor are highlighted among the organisations that have shifted their business processes and adopted mobile technologies.

Russell Stanners, CEO of Vodafone New Zealand, says the NZ Police had this view of the future: they need to get more support for people in the field, not the police station.

Vodafone is delivering smartphones and tablets to police officers, and it is estimated each officer will gain 30 minutes per shift. This is the equivalent of 345 frontline officers and additional 520,000 hours a year.

"It has transformed the way they interact with the public," says Grant Hopkins, enterprise director at Vodafone New Zealand.

If a police officer pulls over an individual, the latter will show them instead a paper variant of the driver license. The police can than key the data into an iPhone. The driver then asks if they will be able to check a photo from the files, and then confesses that the license is not his.

"The police are now being connected real time and far more interactive on what they are doing," says Hopkins. "They are moving into the contemporary space, the same environment they are interacting with."

"We see more innovations coming in that space where the tools are available on the front line," says Hopkins. One example is Frucor Beverage, whose products include V and Pepsi, that has changed the 'route trade' or how it sells the products to dairies.

Frucor provided its sales representatives with iPads loaded with an app that provides them vital information on the customers like previous transactions, and sales of similar products in nearby stores.

Tony Baird, head of networks; Russell Stanners, CEO; and Grant Hopkins, enterprise director, Vodafone New Zealand.

"That has led to a big transformation," says Hopkins. During the average of seven minutes a call per customer, the sales representative can talk about the performance of the store relative to another store that carries the same products.

"They are turning the transaction from an order taking business into order making," says Hopkins, as the sales representatives are seen as partners in growing the business.

Another frontline innovation it is working with is with the call centres at the Inland Revenue Department. Stanners says Vodafone has been involved in 'evovling' IRD's call centres. For instance, one million IRD customers are now using voice ID authentication, and this has reduced internal call transfers by 80 per cent.

The client will just state a name and address. The system recognises the person, says Stanners. "It is much more personal, more effective, no more remembering your mother's name," he says, as users do away with passwords.

Stanners says Vodafone is also setting the standard with what businesses can do with technology right in its own headquarters that is being built in Christchurch. The project shows the company's commitment to lead in building the new business centre following the earthquake in 2011.

"It will be the most technologically advanced building in New Zealand," says Stanners of the facility that is scheduled to open in early 2016 in Christchurch's Innovation Precinct. The building will be completely wireless, and staff will use their smartphone as security pass.

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