NetMotion Hones Mobility Tool

Update supports mobile Pocket PC.

Remote management software maker NetMotion Wireless Inc. is introducing the next version of its NetMotion Mobility software.

NetMotion Mobility 5.0 is designed to help manage devices that roam between wired and wireless networks and to keep applications running on the devices without interruption. It runs across Microsoft Corp.s Windows software on the back end, and it supports clients running Microsoft Windows or Pocket PC.

Version 5.0 adds support for Windows Mobile Pocket PC 2003.

It includes a policy management module that gives centralized control over what both users and applications are allowed to do on the network. Policies can be set globally or to specific classes of employees, devices or applications.

An IT manager could block certain applications when a device is in a slow network, for example, but allow them back when the network link is faster. This could keep police officers with computers in their cars from downloading mug shots when in a Cellular Digital Packet Data environment, for example.

"We are positioning ourselves to make the jump to 3G [third-generation] technology and need a program such as NetMotion Mobility to manage this connection," said Greg Walters, a radio frequency specialist for the city of Brea, Calif. "The California Department of Justice has mandated that all wireless data communications in California that access the criminal justice systems are to be 128-bit-encrypted. Our CAD client that we will be using requires a static IP address. Neither of these requirements can be met with either of the CDMA [Code Division Multiple Access] carriers. NetMotion Mobility easily allows us to meet both needs. We have been trying, with great difficulty, to work out a plan to manage and control the access to the Internet and e-mail for our clients. With nine other agencies, there would be many rules to consider. The policies addition in Version 5.0 of Mobility will allow us to manage all those rules."

Separate from the policy settings, Version 5.0 includes a security quarantine feature that allows the IT manager to block a lost or stolen device from accessing the network.

The product is in beta tests and is due this week, pending bug fixes; Walters said his office had discovered a bug that affected the caching on domain log-on credentials in Windows 98 and was expecting to have a fix to test by the end of last month.

The update will be available through the company and through resellers and carriers.

Currently company sales are about evenly split between direct and indirect, but officials said they are looking to change that.

"Our goal is to make it more of an indirect model," said Steve Cullen, president and CEO of NetMotion, in Seattle.

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