iPlanet Extending Its Mobile Reach

Latest ONE offering ties users' wireless phones to company Web portals.

Imagine if lawyers in a courtroom could access all the legal resources, such as the Lexis-Nexis or Westlaw research sites, from wireless phones through their firms Web portal. Consider the potential time that could be saved in the overburdened courts if lawyers didnt have to break for recess to check documents.

Such a scenario could soon be a reality, thanks to a portal server option released last week by iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions.

Mobile Access Pack is the latest product in iPlanets portal server line. The products are part of Sun Microsystems Inc.s Open Net Environment offerings, which are designed to promote rapid deployment of robust, Web-based services. Enterprises using Mobile Access Pack are not tied to a particular wireless carrier. It works with any mobile network that operates at a 2.5-generation to third-generation capacity, according to John Fanelli, director of product marketing at iPlanet, an alliance between Sun and Netscape Communications Corp.

In addition, iPlanet, of Palo Alto, Calif., announced last week that it is integrating Mobile Access Pack with Lucent Technologies Inc.s AnyPath Messaging System and Suns Netra servers. They are targeting the integrated product at service providers that want to offer enhanced unified communications. End users are able to browse the Web, check and send voice and e-mail messages, make calls from address books via voice command, and attach e-mail to voice mail.

With iPlanet Portal Server, AnyPath can aggregate personalized content and services from many different data sources—including e-mail, voice and fax messages; calendar entries; and Internet channels—based on user preferences. "Think of the portal server as an aggregation mechanism," Fanelli said. "Maybe next to my e-mail and my calendar, I want to see weather information. Maybe I want to get driving directions to my next appointment."

Lucent is iPlanets first OEM customer for the portal server, but iPlanet sells the server directly to service providers and enterprises as well. Business customers include financial services, the Department of Defense and insurance companies, which typically use it for an employee portal or consumer portal.

Lucent isnt the only manufacturer promoting new unified messaging technologies. Ericsson Inc. AB has upgraded its OneBox product offerings, now available in the United States. With OneBox 2.0, users can access electronic messages via a phone, Windows-based PC or Web browser.

The Stockholm, Sweden, vendors software supports unified fax, voice and e-mail messaging; text-to-speech conversion for remote access to e-mail; remote access to faxes; Voice Intercept Messaging; and Short Message Service for text message notification.