Vendors Prep Wireless E-Mail Access Tools

By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2004-10-11 Print this article Print

JP Mobile and Sproqit Technologies are readying software designed to compete with RIM's popular BlackBerry platform.

JP Mobile Inc. and Sproqit Technologies Inc. are readying wireless e-mail access software meant to compete against Research In Motion Ltd.s popular BlackBerry platform.

Stalwart enterprise mobile software company JP Mobile later this month will announce the SureWave Mobile Office suite, which updates the companys SureWave Enterprise Server software with a new brand. The suite includes both e-mail access and security software.

SureWave Mobile Office is behind-the-firewall software that provides wireless e-mail access to Microsoft Corp.s Exchange platform, Novell Inc.s GroupWise platform and IBMs Lotus Notes platform. On the device side, it supports several wireless operating systems including Symbian Ltd.s Symbian OS, RIMs BlackBerry OS, Microsoft Windows Mobile and PalmSource Inc.s Palm OS. JP Mobile has been working with Palm Inc. to integrate its software with the upcoming Treo 650 smart phone, officials said.

The software allows for real-time and offline bidirectional data synchronization, said officials at JP Mobile in Dallas.

SureWave Mobile Defense integrates security features from the PDA Defense product that the company bought from Asynchrony Solutions Inc. in May. It focuses on keeping data secure once it reaches a wireless device. "Security exposure is not just about over-the-air vulnerability," said Ananth Rao, co-founder and executive vice president of JP Mobile.

The security features provide better central control of the devices that have access to the server, Rao said. IT administrators can institute group settings, wipe devices of their data, reset passwords, and encrypt database and other application data—all remotely.

Several government agencies use SureWave Mobile Defense, including the FBI and all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, officials said.

"Protecting the privacy of patient data is of the utmost importance," said Cathy Biondi, product manager for mobile computing at McKesson Corp., a Fortune 16 health care services and IT company in Alpharetta, Ga. "In the event that a physicians device is stolen or lost, our hospital customers can be confident in knowing that the patient data is protected. In fact, after failed log-in attempts or a period of time defined by the health care organization, patient data is erased from the device."

The SureWave Mobile Office suite will be widely available by the end of this month. While it will be sold directly to enterprise customers initially, JP Mobile is in talks with several carriers that plan to sell it on a monthly fee basis, officials said.

Meanwhile, startup Sproqit in November will launch Sproqit Personal Edition, which provides Outlook access to the majority of smart-phone and PDA operating systems as well as Microsofts Win32, according to officials at the Kirkland, Wash., company. Sproqit uses a thin-client architecture to provide a direct connection between the client and the desktop via an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connection. The software is available directly from the company for $8.95 per month.

An enterprise version, with a behind-the-firewall server, is due next year.

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