EDS Packages Wireless Solutions

By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2002-03-25

Electronic Data Systems Corp. is entering into the wireless services space with the pragmatic idea that systems integrators shouldnt have to build every solution from the ground up.

The Plano, Texas, services company at the CTIA Wireless show here last week was touting OneBridge Mobile Sales, which combines several products into a single wireless middleware offering that EDS can modify depending on customer needs.

"Were trying to come at it from a corporate view and say, Look, a lot of this has already been done," said Dave Clark, senior mobility architect at EDS, in Maynard, Mass.

Most of the platform is based on existing wireless middleware products from ViaFone Inc., including an application server and a tool suite for building customized applications for handheld devices.

The ViaFone platform supports Palm Inc.s Palm OS and Microsoft Corp.s Pocket PC operating system as well as a variety of two-way pagers. Clark said most potential customers have a variety of mobile devices already in play, and they want wireless access to corporate data from all of them.

EDS mobile offerings, while still fairly new, include software and technology from Sun Microsystems Inc. and Neomar Inc., whose wireless middleware specializes in support for offline forms and data.

Also in the mix is Microsoft, with its Mobile Internet 2002 Server, although the product is being phased out next year, and GoAmerica Inc., which has partnered with companies to enable specialized access to customer relationship management, field force automation, financial services and general groupware applications with its Go.Web wireless browser.

EDS isnt doing anything particularly novel, but the goal, Clark said, is to combine the products into packaged offerings based on a basic "mobile hub." EDS has a "prepackaged, pre-integrated pilot" in its labs right now, Clark said.

The goal is to build products that are geared to various industries, thus making it easier to deploy the products quickly. "The biggest demand were seeing right now is in things like [pharmaceuticals]," Clark said.

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