Device-management services that the companies are looking to develop include configuring mobile devices on behalf of the end user, monitoring and troubleshooting service performance as well as installing and upgrading device software.
The companies are attempting to promote a standardised approach to devising services for GPRS and 3G technologies. Standards must be agreed upon so that users can have their wireless mobile devices configured for them.
IBM, Motorola and Vodafone are concerned that if customers are not given useful and convenient customer service at the point of sale they will quickly turn away from new wireless technologies such as GPRS and 3G.
The companies are all members of Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), Telemanagement Forum (TMF) as well as the SyncML Initiative, the industry group promoting the SyncML industry specification for mobile data synchronisation and device management.
Motorola is developing SyncML-based handset products that will include device-management technologies, and plans to co-host demonstrations of the new services with IBM and Vodafone at the SyncML Congress being held in Amsterdam at the end of January.
For its part, IBM is integrating device-management technology from its Tivoli Systems subsidiary and integrating those services with IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Server software. The management application software is to run over IBM's eServer pSeries, the companies said.