Primerica Deploys 4,000 Palm Devices

Palm announced today the deployment of 4,000 Palm handheld and smarphone devices to Primerica Financial Services, a subsidiary of Citigroup, Inc. Primerica is running its own customized application on the devices, called Turbo Apps, allowing its mobile workforce to complete financial applications in the comfort of their customer's homes.

Primerica provides its 6 million clients with financial products and services, such as term life insurance, mutual funds, variable annuities, loans and long-term care insurance. With up to 60 percent of applications pouring in the last week of each month, processing the high volume of paperwork was very challenging.

The company decided it needed a paperless process and a powerful mobile device. Primerica chose to develop on the Palm OS platform in part because the majority of its agents and executives already were users of Palm products, ranging from handheld devices that were primarily used to organize calendar, contacts and personal information to advanced all-in-one devices that include email and cell phone capabilities. Familiarity with Palm devices made the learning curve virtually flat.

In addition, the Palm OS platform is flexible enough to expertly handle applications customized for the needs of particular industries, from healthcare to finance. Palm handhelds and smartphones met Primerica's system requirements for powerful, portable, affordable devices with the ability to handle the customized TurboApps application. Now sales agents can synchronize large volumes of sensitive information, completing the application process in just minutes. In the past, this process took several days.

"We needed a technology that could handle an extensive scope of information and also ease the processing burden on our agents," said Tom Swift, executive vice president of field technology at Primerica. "With TurboApps running on Palm handhelds and smartphones, our agents have access to the applications necessary to get the job done. Being able to process apps quicker with fewer mistakes is a win for clients, agents and the company."

Palm handhelds and smartphones running the custom-built TurboApps application help Primerica agents do the following:

  • Minimize errors and incomplete applications by guiding them through the process;
  • Provide clients with the best service possible;
  • Keep client information more secure;
  • Save time by not having to enter redundant data or wait for postal deliveries;
  • Speed turnaround time;
  • Submit applications as soon as their next synchronization; and
  • Submit client payments faster.

"By empowering 4,000 agents with a mobile application like TurboApps, Primerica is enabling an ever-increasing mobile workforce to dramatically increase productivity," said Tara Griffin, vice president, enterprise sales, Palm, Inc. "Palm is committed to equipping organizations such as Primerica with mobile solutions that raise the bar for efficient business processes and quality customer service."

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Their more efficient

palmdoc88 @ 8/30/2005 6:11:36 PM # Q
1st post ;)
As an owner of both Palm(T3 and T5) and PPC devices(Dell Axim x50v) I find myself resorting to Palm for daily work. Its just so much faster and more efficient.
The corporate world and Palm need to work more together like this example. Well done Palm!

T3 & T5 user
RE: Their more efficient
KultiVator @ 8/30/2005 6:23:59 PM # Q
You got it in a nutshell. Palm simplicity makes me smile, especially after some horendous experiences I had trying to help a colleague with their shiny new HP.

A nice positive story and so far it's troll-free!

RE: Their more efficient
SeldomVisitor @ 8/31/2005 5:52:17 AM # Q
Out of those "4000 Palm devices" that are supposedly a mix of PDAs and smartphones, I sure would have liked to see that mix broken down into how MANY PDAs and how many of what type of "smartphone", wouldn't you?

RE: They're more efficient
ChiA @ 8/31/2005 10:52:11 AM # Q
I sure would have liked to see that mix broken down into how MANY PDAs and how many of what type of "smartphone", wouldn't you?

Yes, I did find it a touch odd that Palm mentioned the internal custom App being used by the finance company but not the models of handhelds/smartphones sold, especially when they've done so with similar press releases in the past.

For all we know they could've have sold 2 Treo 600s and 3,998 Zires to get rid of discontinued stock! Jibing aside, what matters is whether the Palms make it easier for the company to conduct their business and Palm is adequately paid for what they've provided, so hopefully everyone walks away happy.

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog" - Dwight D. Eisenhower

RE: Their more efficient
SeldomVisitor @ 8/31/2005 11:40:47 AM # Q
The PALM-pessimist in me says they did not name names for a reason.

1 Treo 600 + 3999 Palm m100 = 4000
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 8/31/2005 11:54:20 AM # Q
Keep it quiet.

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm eCONomy = Communismô
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: Their more efficient
timepilot84 @ 9/4/2005 6:36:02 AM # Q
I have a LD and an Axim x50v and after 3 months of having both devices, I find that I use the x50v for browsing the web and the LD for everything else. I'm going to hang on to the X50v at least until WM2005 comes out, but I might just ditch it after that if it doesn't shine.

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Simple and Easy-To-Use

vesther @ 8/30/2005 7:04:22 PM # Q
Judging from how Primerica deploy its Palm-branded devices, all I only can say is that Palm is generally committed to the simplicity and ease-of-use. While they are NOT that perfect, I think that the simplicity part saves them.

Powered by Palm OS since March 2002
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But PPC seems much more popular for enterprise deployments

asiayeah @ 8/31/2005 10:52:12 AM # Q
While some enterprise deployments of Palm devices come out from time to time, it looks to me that there are actually more PPC deployments for enterprises. Is it just my observation?

--
With great power comes great responsiblity.
RE: But PPC seems much more popular for enterprise deployments
InsGuy @ 8/31/2005 12:07:57 PM # Q
It is more popular. It's not necessarily easier to use, but like you said, for enterprise deployments, it is more popular.

I wonder what specific app they are using, that would seem to work well on both a pda AND a smartphone? An app that runs great on the Lifedrive, for example, would look somewhat different on a Treo, wouldn't it? (Assuming the app for the LD took full advantage of the screen).

Just curious.

All good things...

It's ironic you raise this issue because...
ChiA @ 8/31/2005 12:53:44 PM # Q
...when you Google Primerica and TurboApps you get this article:

www.appforge.com/corp/press/2004/030404-primerica.pdf

and to quote:
Swift and his team have developed an application for capturing and submitting life insurance applications on hand-held mobile devices. The application called TurboApps, developed using Microsoft (Redmond, Wash.) VisualBasic and AppForge (Atlanta) MobileVB tools, will run on standard hand-held devices using the Palm and Pocket PC operating systems. "While our first implementation will be with the Palm OS," says Swift, "it was important to us that we could use the same set of source code for multiple operating systems."
Tom Swift, senior VP of field technology with Primerica Life
Insurance.

So Primerica is hedging its bets on the Palm vs PocketPC debate (as it's wise to do). It's a good sign they've gone for Palm hardware and PalmOS this time but there's the possibility they'll change their mind in the future.

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog" - Dwight D. Eisenhower

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