E-mail delivered to mobile phones is about to get easier to use in the enterprise, both on the proprietary and open-source fronts.
On Feb. 6, Microsoft announced that Sony Ericsson has licensed its Exchange ActiveSync protocol to enable more secure, wireless direct synchronization between Exchange Server 2003 and its phones.
The first implementation will be on the new Sony Ericsson P990 and M600 phones, which will be available in the second quarter of this year.
Exchange ActiveSync is a data synchronization service that enables mobile users to gain access to their e-mail, calendar and contacts and retain access to this information while offline.
This latest deal follows similar Exchange ActiveSync license agreements between Microsoft and DataViz Inc., Motorola Inc., Nokia, Palm Inc. and Symbian Ltd.
Also, on the open source front, Funambol, a mobile open-source software company, announced the release of Funambol v3 on Feb. 6, which the company says is the "first open-source push e-mail product for carriers and enterprises."
The beta version can be downloaded for evaluation.
Funambols push e-mail capabilities include send, receive and forward functions and allow users to open attachments, check e-mail on and offline, and accept or decline meeting requests.
Funambol v3 supports Exchange, Domino, IMAP and POP e-mail servers, utilizes the e-mail client pre-loaded on the mobile device or a WAP browser, and supports end-to-end 128-bit SSL encryption.
The server supports RIM BlackBerry, Microsoft Windows Mobile, SyncML-compliant phones, and any WAP enabled phone.
Push e-mail is a technology that provides a copy of e-mail to a cell phone or PDA.
It is implemented by the e-mail provider as a subscription service and, for every e-mail that a user receives, the mail server makes a copy and forwards it to their PDA or cell phone. The user can also set up a mail filter that pushes only selected messages to their mobile device.
The idea originated on the Blackberry device, but other major players have entered the market.
In Microsofts case, those organizations that have deployed Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 will benefit from the additional mobile enhancements included there, such as Direct Push, which provides instant access to newly received e-mail messages, said Jeff Ressler, Microsofts director of product management and planning for Exchange Server.
Click hereto read more about Microsofts Direct Push e-mail support.
The growth of solution providers in the push e-mail space, both proprietary and open source, reflects the fact that the enterprise workforce is becoming increasingly mobile and is looking for solutions that allow them to remain connected, wherever they are and whenever they need to.