Bundling its WebSphere server software with its WebSphere Transcoding Publisher Package, Tivoli Subscription Manager and other software ingredients, IBM says it has created "the most complete solution for enabling mobile e-business".
Despite IBM's promises, it is early days for the wireless Web. Gartner analyst Nick Jones said the initiative was necessary because by 2003 all e-business strategies will need a mobile commerce element. He said the package "will be valuable as part of multi-channel applications and architectures".
But he said this is only "one useful piece in a complicated jigsaw. Businesses must decide where to get WAP servers, and e-business models". He has concerns about the viability of transcoding software. Transcoding converts data from one display format to another, for example from HTML to WML, so a Web site can be accessed from a mobile phone.
Jones said human psychology plays a major part in creating the optimal user experience on a device and this cannot be translated between different devices.
Also the same device may be used for more than one function. A mobile phone may be used for voice then Wap, causing problems for a server trying to decide which format to send out data.
So although the WebSphere package may be useful in a business-to-employee environment, Jones does not believe it is ready for the business-to-business world.
IBM's wireless mobile partners