Retriever takes Bull by the horns
      Lou Caruana
      11 October 2000

RETRIEVER Communications hopes to capture a slice of the growing European mobile data market by forming an alliance with French giant Groupe Bull.

Retriever, which is a wireless application service provider for field automation to the transport, maintenance, health and sales sectors, estimates that by 2004 western Europe will represent 40 per cent of world wide businesses data market, chief executive Mary Brittain-White said.

"Since inception we have understood that the Continent was our key export market so we have always been developing a European capable product," she said.

General manager of Groupe Bull Cyrille du Peloux said the Retriever service addresses the commercial need for field automation with a service solution that is technology flexible and risk-free.

"The way companies service their clients is a key factor for success, and so we are keen that our clients look to Bull solutions to improve their efficiency and professionalism of their customer-facing field forces," Mr du Peloux said.

Retriever's service combines hand-held computer technology with the public mobile telecommunications network, which enables a field force to access, retrieve and send to and from an office.

Bull, which reported an annual turnover of 4 billion euros in 1999, derived 83 per cent of its revenue in Europe.

Bull's pan-European offering will be targeted initially at France, Italy, UK and Germany and it has set up a new subsidiary "EZ Link" to focus on Retriever Services in western Europe.

In February Retriever's service went live with Cable & Wire Optus as an Optus branded service.