Is the Blackberry the perfect agents tool?

4 minute read

If you are an agent and you have been waiting for a phone/email/pda then the Blackberry is a tool you just have to have.

Telstra and other providers have added the RIM Blackberry to its stable of mobile phones with all you can eat Internet and Email access and one of the easiest to use Interfaces available today. I have just purchased one of these and it is so simple even anyone can use it.

Imagine being able to receive phone calls, sms messages and now email no matter where you are? (as long as it is within Telstra range)

Well I really cannot think of any reason why an agent would not want one of these. Being able to be connected to your office and your vendors/buyers is what this will bring to all agents and with Telstra finally putting it out at a price that almost anyone can afford it has become an industry no-brainer as far as I am concerned.

You simply pay a $49.95 monthly fee for data and the phone plus call charges and you are connected within 10 minutes. So let us have a look at some of the features.

Ergonomics and Design

The Blackberry (comes in a few colours but black seems to be the norm) fits perfectly in the Palm of your hand and the home screen looks quite nice. Icons are sharp and it feels right. It is by no means a sexy piece of equipment but it looks good. The design is clean with rounded edges and no external antenna. The display and thumb keyboard are located on the front of the unit, with an integrated speaker located above the display. The integrated mic is located on the bottom edge of the unit.

Deals and Shopping!

You should check out all the majors, I chose Telstra because I have existing plans with them, but do check out other deals.

Display and Battery

The BlackBerry has a 240×160 color screen that’s capable of displaying 65K colors. The colors and large icons make the display extremely easy to see both indoors and out. You will need to light up the screen with the backlight in darker surrounds but this is easy enough to do. The phone is easy to turn on and off and comes with 4 hours talk time.

The Dual Identity

The beauty of having a BlackBerry is not only to get email pushed to you anywhere at anytime, but also to integrate your currently email accounts with BlackBerry so that you can receive and send email from your existing corporate email account or ISP email account.

If you are integrating your ISP/POP3 email account, the wireless carrier will provide the services for you via BlackBerry’s Web Client. Telstra gave me a link which I went to and set up took around 5 minutes. You can also configure this device to work with your existing contacts and calendar (Outlook + many other programs etc)

You can sync the handheld with the desktop using Intellisync in the Desktop Manager and configure the content you wish sync. The Desktop Manager also has Backup and Restore applications. If you are using Outlook 2003 you will need to update the service packs from the Blackberry website as the software that comes with the device does not include the service packs. (stupid)

If you are using corporate email accounts on the BlackBerry, your IT department can set up your handheld with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server or you can use the BlackBerry Desktop Redirector to configure your account settings.

Applications (software)

With its very simple and easy to use interface. When you turn on the device, you will see the icons for all the applications on the screen. Use the Trackwheel to select application and press the Trackwheel to launch it. As you highlight the icons, you will see the name of the application displayed below all the icons. This all works extremely well and will have you up and running in no time. The package comes with a quick user guide and this is easy to understand.

This works pretty much the same as any of your existing apps but it has extra functions that just work so well.

After you open an email, you can perform regular email functions such as reply, forward, delete, save, and so on. In addition, if the email body includes a phone number, email address or web URL, you can use the Trackwheel to highlight it and make a call, send an email or open a web page directly from that email. Very cool!


An excellent tool for any road warrior type professional and I would recommend this to any agent who needs to stay in touch at any time.

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