GoodLink 2.0, the latest version of Good Technology Inc.s wireless messaging platform, provides a slew of enhancements that make it a strong option for enterprises that need to provide wireless access to Microsoft Corp.s Exchange. In addition to its easy setup and improved management, GoodLink 2.0, which shipped last month, gains much-needed capabilities, some of which—such as two-way-pager functionality—are already in competing products.
GoodLink 2.0 Goods updated wireless messaging system provides significant feature enhancements while keeping things simple to use. Future support for more mobile devices and more wireless nets will make GoodLink even more appealing, and its price is competitive. However, RIMs systems may be better choices for Lotus shops and sites that need Web functionality. More information is at www.good.com.
EVALUATION SHORT LIST
However, although Version 2.0 addresses some shortcomings, theres still room for improvement. Good has made significant improvements in the GoodLink 2.0 server software, for example, but hasnt made such headway in the number of handheld devices it supports. As this review went to press, support was still limited to Goods G100 and the BlackBerry 957 and 950 from Research In Motion Ltd.
The company has announced support, coming this fall, for HandSpring Inc.s Treo 600 device and plans to support Pocket PC devices early next year.
Good is also broadening its network support, so enterprises can be more selective when choosing service providers.
GoodLink 2.0 can be installed on Windows NT or Windows 2000 servers. Although BlackBerry servers install only on Windows, there is also a version of BlackBerry for IBMs Lotus Software divisions Domino. Good currently has no plans to support Domino server operating systems.
At $2,000 for a single license, GoodLink 2.0 Servers price is comparable to that of BlackBerry Enterprise Server. GoodLink user licenses start at $80 per user or $50 per user for purchases of 100 or more licenses. Good also offers volume pricing for the GoodLink Server software: Four or more server licenses cost $1,800 each. GoodLink customers can upgrade their server with the latest features at no cost.
In comparison, BlackBerry Enterprise Server Version 3.6 for Exchange is priced at $4,999 and includes 20 user licenses. RIMs $999 small and medium-size business edition includes five user licenses and supports a maximum of 15 users (although a $3,000 upgrade is required for the 15-user system).
The G100 handheld sports a new lower price, at $349, and has better features than RIMs $349 957 or $249 950 models.
GoodLinks new IM+ two-way pager offers a way to quickly get in touch with colleagues even if the corporate Exchange system is down. IM+ can bypass corporate e-mail servers because messages are delivered directly by the service providers. GoodLink IM+ also provides useful visual confirmation of delivery and message-read status icons.
GoodLink 2.0 offers more security options, including the ability to enforce a global security policy on handhelds. IT managers can also limit users handheld capabilities via a global policy. Unfortunately, there can be only one global policy.
Technical Analyst Francis Chu can be reached at email@example.com.