Good Broadens Reach
Good Technology Inc. next week will unveil a new version of its GoodLink wireless e-mail access platform, with plans to support Palm Inc.s Palm OS and Microsoft Corp.s Pocket PC by the first half of next year.
GoodLink 1.5 upgrades the GoodLink server platform for Research In Motion Ltd. BlackBerry devices. It has been sold primarily through Cingular Wireless for use on Cingulars data-only Mobitex network.
Also new in Version 1.5 is support for Microsofts Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000 and added security features that include wireless key updates, the ability to enforce password policies from a central location and the ability for managers to erase data from a device remotely in case the device is lost.
Good will officially unveil next week GoodInfo, a form-based tool that enables IT managers to develop wireless enterprise access applications using XML. Users can install the applications with the touch of a button, but the tool assumes that a company already has its applications online.
"This is only valuable to the extent that youve already Web-enabled your applications," said Danny Shader, president and CEO of Good, in Sunnyvale, Calif. "This makes the assumption that sometime over the last five years, you did a big intranet deployment. This expects an app server on the back end."
Good customers said GoodInfo is easier and cheaper to implement than third-party wireless applications from companies such as Wireless Knowledge Inc. "We tried other tools, and there was a lot more work than we had resources for," said Alberto Hernandez, manager of IS at Bechtel Enterprises Holdings Inc., the investment arm of engineering company Bechtel Group Inc., in San Francisco. "With GoodInfo, we had a person here for half a day, and after that, we were able to get applications up on our own."
Bechtel had to perform additional work to coordinate the authentication schemes on GoodInfo with those of Bechtels existing enterprise applications, but other than that, "things work seamlessly," Hernandez said.
Bechtel switched from RIMs BlackBerry Enterprise Server to the GoodLink server four months ago because GoodLink promised cradleless synchronization and also because Good plans to support platforms beyond that of RIM once next-generation (2.5G) GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks become available. GPRS provides the always-on access of the Mobitex network, and it supports voice as well. "Were hoping to jump on GPRS once it gets here," said Gabriel Lam, automation specialist at Bechtel.
Once several carriers support GPRS nationwide, which is due by next year, "my bet is that Pocket PC and Palm OS will be what sell in the United States," Goods Shader said. "We started with the RIM platform because of Mobitex. If 2.5G had started before RIM did, the market would look very different today."
Current versions of GoodLink run on RIMs BlackBerry platform and BlackBerry devices, as well as Goods own device, the G100. Good started with RIM support because the Mobitex network that runs RIM devices enables always-on e-mail support.
Last week, Good announced it is teaming with Palms software unit, PalmSource Inc., to deliver GoodLink to PalmSource hardware licensees. GoodLink for Palm OS should be for sale in the first half of next year, initially on Handspring Inc.s Treo devices, Shader said. GoodLink for devices that run Pocket PC should be available by the end of next year.
Meanwhile, the company is swapping lawsuits with the Waterloo, Ontario, company. RIM has filed suits alleging patent and trademark infringement and claiming that Good breached its software development kit license by copying and distributing RIMs BlackBerry operating system. Good countersued in May, claiming RIMs case is groundless. Shader said, "Those lawsuits are the best thing that ever happened to our sales. Its a pain ... because it takes a lot of time to read briefs ... but its good for business."