Compaq Suite Aids Wireless Deployments

Helps businesses build out mobile technology.

Compaq Global Services last week launched a suite of wireless services designed to help enterprises build and deploy mobile technology.

The suite of consulting, integration and support services is intended to help enterprises understand implementation and security issues around wireless deployments, according to Bob Simmons, global practice leader for CGS wireless networking practice, in Littleton, Mass.

"With wireless, its easy to get lost in the technology and the hype. You have to make sure there is a clear business benefit [before embarking on wireless initiatives]," Simmons said.

Toward that end, CGS has packaged several early service engagements into repeatable service offerings. The suite includes seven services in four areas, including WLANs (wireless LANs), mobile messaging, mobile CRM (customer relationship management) and mobile enterprise application solutions.

Among them is the Art of the Possible Mobility Strategy Service, a kind of triage of possible wireless applications within an enterprise.

The service looks at the supply and value chains and the communication processes within to see where mobile technology can be used to "take latency out to see business gain," Simmons said. For example, the service would look at how wireless could provide a sales force with more information in a timely way to help close sales or how wireless could reduce steps a factory worker might take in completing a task.

The suite includes the Mobility Architecture Service, which is intended to ensure that mobile projects match the clients business goals.

The Managed Mobility Pilot Services is intended to help customers add new mobile applications without affecting their own production systems.

Other options in the suite include mobility assessment, design and implementation services, back-end services for managing mobility, and related support services.

Compaq will compete with a variety of vendors and their services counterparts with the new offerings. Competitors include Symbol Technologies Inc., Nortel Networks Ltd., Lucent Technologies Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. with its partners, according to Richard Dean, an analyst at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass.

CGS last week inked a deal with wireless enterprise software developer Extended Systems Inc. under which Compaq will resell Extended Systems XTNDConnect Server software to corporate customers that use Compaqs iPaq handheld computers.

This is the first major reselling deal for Extended Systems since Palm Inc. announced that it would buy the company in March and then nixed the deal a few months later.

Palm still has a relationship with Extended Systems and uses the relationship to make the Palm OS platform more attractive to enterprise customers. But, as evidenced with the Compaq deal, Extended is free to pursue relationships with Palm competitors as well.

The XTNDConnect Server enables data exchange between mobile devices and groupware servers or corporate databases.