Good Technologys Bright Future

By J. Gerry Purdy  |  Posted 2009-03-04 Print this article Print

Good Technology's bright future

Visto has been a major supplier of wireless e-mail and Internet information access to wireless operators. They also have been quite litigious in filing lawsuits over their patents relating to push e-mail, one of which was still pending against Motorola. With this acquisition, the legal issues disappear.

The challenge for Good Technology (Visto's new name) is to determine how to market and integrate the engineering resources for the two products: Visto's Mobile 6 has been very focused on consumers and sold through (mostly European) wireless operators using the operator's brand, with a wide range of device support. And their recent announcement of support for social networking makes it easy for subscribers to interact with their favorite social networking sites, such as Facebook, using their mobile phone.

Good Technology is also sold through (mostly North American) wireless operators and direct to major enterprises as a direct competitor to RIM BlackBerry. They also supported a number of devices, but much of their business has been sold for use with one of the Palm Treo SmartPhone handsets (both Windows Mobile and Palm OS).

The most likely "going forward" scenario is for the new Good Technology to develop a migration to a common code base, with a single offering of the Good Mobile Suite (our suggested brand names):

1. Good Mobile Messaging - traditional e-mail

a. Behind-the-firewall solutions for the enterprise (with support for Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino/Notes)

b. Services to consumers via wireless operators

c. Services to small business via a hosted solution

2. Good Social Networking - mobile interaction with the user's social networking portals such as Facebook and MySpace

3. Good iPortal Synchronization - operates like MobileMe, providing synchronization of Calendar and Contacts between the user's desktop(s) (typically Outlook), the Web and wireless handsets

4. Good Device Management - enterprise remote management of wireless handsets

5. Good Mobile Connection and Intranet - making connections to back-end enterprise systems

I'd also recommend that Good Technology support the new and innovative Palm Pre wireless handset that uses Palm's new Linux-based WebOS platform. That will be a very solid offering for enterprise customers, even though it's exclusively provided through Sprint for six months.

Good Technology now can become a solid competitor to RIM. BlackBerry has a lot of momentum, both in the traditional enterprise space (connecting to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BES) and their more recent migration into the consumer space (with their BlackBerry Internet Services, which provides support for traditional consumer e-mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo and AOL). But RIM is a closed hardware/software system that only operates on BlackBerry devices. Good Technology operates on hundreds of wireless handsets, so their open strategy should be well received by enterprises and consumers alike. 

Overall, this is an excellent move by Visto, which may have simply "fallen in their lap" as a result of their patent litigation with Motorola. Motorola's management team may have felt a need to "slim down" and focus on Google Android and Windows Mobile handsets, and were willing to consider a more modest valuation after years of mega-hype.

I remember the day back in 2001 when Danny Shader (then CEO of Good Technology) paid a visit to go over Good Mobile Messenger. I thought that it was a better design than BlackBerry because it provided better ease-of-use and had more integration, especially between the calendar and the e-mail applications. The result of Visto's acquisition of Good Technology should provide consumers and enterprise customers with the best phone-based e-mail and mobile information management solution out there. Their challenge is to execute on that vision.

The new Good Technology has a chance to become the leader in wireless e-mail. This will be good for customers, good for the wireless operators and good for the wireless handset vendors. That's a lot of "good."

 J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., is the VP and Chief Analyst with the Frost & Sullivan North American Information & Communication Technologies Practice. As a nationally recognized industry authority, he focuses on monitoring and analyzing emerging trends, technologies and market behavior in the mobile computing and wireless data communications industry in North America. Since joining Frost & Sullivan in 2006, Dr. Purdy has been specializing in mobile and wireless devices, wireless data communications and connection to the infrastructure that powers the data in the wireless handheld. He is author of Inside Mobile & Wireless, which provides industry insights and reaches over 100,000 readers per month.
For more than 16 years, Dr. Purdy has been consulting, speaking, researching, networking, writing and developing state-of-the-art concepts that challenge people's mind-sets, and developing new ways of thinking and forecasting in the mobile computing and wireless data arenas. Often quoted, his ideas and opinions are followed closely by thought leaders in the mobile & wireless industry. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University. He can be reached at

Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in this column. If that situation happens, then I'll disclose it at that time.

J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., is Principal Analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax LLC.
Dr. Purdy has been covering mobile, wireless, cloud & enterprise for the past 20+ years. He writes analysis and recommendations each week in an easy-to-read manner that helps people better understand important technology issues and assist them in making better technology purchasing decisions.

Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in a column. If that situation happens, then IÔÇÖll disclose it at that time.

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