Ready or Not, Wireless Enterprise IT is Here Today
HP's Richard Stone declares 802.11b "pervasive," commits to .Net for Web services and outlines future of HP handheld products.LOS ANGELESCompanies are deluding themselves if they think that they can postpone wireless deployments until the technology is stable and secure, warned Hewlett-Packard Americas Richard Stone, manager for Enterprise Mobility Solutions, in his keynote speech on Wednesday at the Pocket PC Summit conference here. "What are the two things that you do on Monday after your kids talk you into buying a wireless handheld on Saturday? First, you expense it back to the company; second, you show up at your IT guys office door and say, make this work with the company e-mail," said Stone. "The majority of handheld devices are chosen by employees, even if not necessarily paid for by the employee." Companies have to get a grip on the resulting issues of security and management today and be prepared to deal with the resulting heterogeneity for years to come, he continued. When enterprise sites are trying to defer a wireless deployment, Stone opined, its typically because of concerns about rapidly changing standards, integration with other enterprise network services and doubts about return on investment. He suggested that the wireless standards war is over, adding, "If I can go into Frys and find it on special, its an industry standard; if its under $150, its a pervasive industry standard. That makes 802.11b a pervasive industry standard."
On the software side, Stone promised continued compatibility with current iPAQ devices in a commitment to Microsoft technologies for both the handheld and the Web services platform. Echoing other recent HP statements committing the company to Microsofts .Net, Stone called it the "open, non-proprietary" services framework and suggested that both Sun and IBM are favoring their own proprietary solutions for Web services.