Wireless companies seek corporate killer app

Three wireless infrastructure companies have announced different approaches to finding the killer applications that will drive...

Three wireless infrastructure companies have announced different approaches to finding the killer applications that will drive forward corporate adoption of wireless systems.

Onset Technology announced GetFile, an upgrade to its Metamessage Conversion Server (MCS) application targeted first at Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry handheld devices. GetFile will give RIM users wireless access to any network or desktop file.

Onset offers a series of modules for the MCS platform. GetFile, the latest module, places a client component with a GetFile icon on the RIM. When a user clicks on the icon, the device sends an encrypted e-mail request to the MCS server software. The server sends back the user's file folders allowing the user to select any file from any folder. Once selected, a file can be forwarded to any other e-mail address.

A second client module, AttachmentsPlus, allows users to read or print to a fax device any file or Web page.

Onset has also upgraded its server software for Lotus Notes/RIM users, who will now be able to access and synchronise with their global contact lists residing on the corporate Domino server.

Synchrologic Technology announced this week that consulting firm Accenture would use its current wireless technology, iMobile Suite, to give customers access to corporate email from any wireless device.

The Synchrologic platform gives companies access to e-mail, enterprise applications and files, as well as asset management tools for handhelds, including Pocket PCs, Palm devices, and RIM devices.

In partnering with Synchrologic, Accenture will offer its end-to-end service as a hosted corporate solution, at first for e-mail, later for mainstream and mission-critical corporate applications and data, according Bill Jones, vice president of products at Synchrologic.

"They are leveraging a trusted connectivity model, VPN, and then they are promising to do the voodoo," said Jones.

Finally, vVault is planning to expand its Direct Desktop Access (DDA) technology that allows corporate users to access data without the aid of the IT department.

vVault president and chief executive Steve Burke pointed out that the move to seek user buy-in as a way to get corporate IT mind share is already being used by many of the wireless carriers.

"We are observing carrier frustration with the slow pace of enterprises in providing mobile access to employees. VPN is as far as they want to go," Burke said.

In its use of an open port on the corporate network, the vVault solution is similar in some ways to the solution used by carriers from Seven.

Users can install vVault client software on their desktop and remotely access any designated file on any directory either by sending files and storing them with vVault on a server or by allowing the vVault service to gain access to the corporate network over Port 443.

Port 443 is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)-encrypted, noted Bill Ho, chief technology officer and co-founder of vVault. A user requests a file. The request goes to vVault and vVault gains access through Port 443 to the desktop. To the IT department it appears as if the desktop, not a remote user, is accessing data.

vVault intends to add a synchronisation adapter for automatic synchronisations over the air. As files pre-selected by the user change on the desktop, the remote user will have the same file on their handheld updated, said Ho.

Although finding a way around IT may be a bit unorthodox the strategy of vVault and others to use the back door to help gain corporate acceptance through the front door may be working.

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