The suite avoids requiring multiple repositories at different locations by employing caching servers at remote locations that feed a single repository. The Web-based architecture uses HTTP clients that connect in the background to a central location to transmit inventory data or execute software updates. The software uses checkpoint restart to ensure efficient data transfer, and bandwidth throttling to avoid impacting user activity over slow-speed links. Mobile Lifecycle Management Suite provides software distribution, inventory, OS migration and remote control functions for Microsoft Windows PCs as well as Windows CE devices, Palm OS and Blackberry handheld devices.But at least one industry observer believes its not Mobile Automations technology, but its focus on selling to specific vertical markets has helped it to grow. "They are tweaking their software in the right direction, but you have to look at how they sell it. The enterprise is not buying generic technology solutions. MA does have that edge in approaching vertical markets," said Tim Scannell, president and chief analyst at Shoreline Research in Quincy, Mass. The new release, which also includes native MSI (Microsoft Installer) and Apache Web server support, ships August 8. The new Mobile Reporting Manager is $1,900. The suite is priced at $90 per client with volume discounts, and a server supporting up to 4000 clients is priced at $9000.
"Weve never had LANDesk of Zenworks, but weve had three or four different applications that did what (Mobile Automation) can do in one application," said current user Sherry Jackson, manager of personal technology services at Las Vegas-based Sierra Pacific Resources Inc. "Consolidation is one of the things we were looking for. I wanted inventory, distribution and remote access in a single product, along with their ability to handle PDAs. Now I dont need anything else," she said.