Virtual secretary starts revolution

Virtual secretaries could revolutionise the way that ICL staff work,
following the results of an internal pilot scheme.

The Personal Virtual Assistant technology enables mobile workers to access
messages, organise diary appointments and contact colleagues simply by dialling
a phone number.

Andy Irvine, business development manager for ICL, said, "Staff will
not need access to a laptop to check on urgent e-mails or organise their diary.
The PVA will help mobile employees work more effectively."

A decision on whether the pilot of 100 managers is rolled out to the rest of
the company will be made by the end of September, Irvine said.

He added, "Obviously, this kind of technology is only suitable for
staff who need to work out of the office, such as salespeople and service
engineers. That’s why we have to consider who will benefit from the

The pilot coincides with the results of a survey of 200 managers across the
IT and financial services sector into mobile working, commissioned by ICL.

It found that two-thirds of managers believe they would work more
effectively if their companies encouraged mobile working.

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