Companies line up wireless partners

Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Motorola are lining up companies with the expertise to extend and deploy enterprise applications to...

Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Motorola are lining up companies with the expertise to extend and deploy enterprise applications to a wide variety of mobile devices.

Invisix, a wireless systems integrator owned by Cisco and Motorola, is set to announce a deal with Xora to use its wireless and voice solutions for extracting data from mission-critical applications and deploying out to wireless devices.

Xora already has deals in place with many of the major enterprise software vendors, including Clarify, i2 Technologies, Oracle, SAP and Siebel Systems. "Our IP [intellectual property] is around these enterprise apps," said Ananth Rani, Xora's vice-president of products and services.

The Xora platform consists of middleware software that is both carrier and device independent, which provides connectivity to back-office applications and mobile devices, said Peter Tsou, Xora's vice-president of business development.

The system can use either its pre-built connectors, or adapters to enterprise applications or Web service protocols. "It can call a SOAP [Simple Object Access Protocol] object," Rani said.

Using a business model pioneered by Intel, which promotes ever more sophisticated software to increase sales of its hardware, Cisco is hoping to speed up the deployment of wireless solutions in the enterprise to increase sales of its telecoms products, said Tsou.

"Cisco is interested in driving infrastructure, and Cisco gear and enterprise data mobility is a way to increase sales to enterprise companies," he added.

Cisco and handset manufacturer Motorola are not the only high-tech companies teaming up with wireless infrastructure suppliers to get more of their products out the door. Microsoft announced a deal last week with MobileWay, a "telecommunications logistics" company that has agreements with 89 wireless carriers across the world.

With MobileWay as a partner Microsoft is now ready to deploy its wireless middleware product, Microsoft Mobile Information Server (MMIS), as a hosted service to enterprise-level companies.

MMIS middleware consists of an Enterprise Edition and a Carrier Edition of the server software. MobileWay will host the Carrier Edition at its data centres. In its first iteration MMIS will only work with Microsoft Exchange Server.

"An end-user can configure his or her Outlook client to design numerous filters," said Patrice Peyret, MobileWay's chief executive. "For example, they may want to receive an e-mail alert when the boss sends them a message or when a message is marked 'Urgent'. They can even have the first 160 characters forwarded to their mobile phone. The Enterprise Edition sucks the information right out of Exchange."

Microsoft said the concept would, over time, extend to its other enterprise software products, and the MMIS middleware will be targeted as one of the first .net solutions.

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