iAnywhere Targets All-In-One Solution

Mobile Mail furnishes wireless, dial-up or cradle access to basic features.

iAnywhere Solutions Inc. is going forward to the basics.

A year after releasing several complicated mobile applications, the mobile subsidiary of Sybase Inc. this week will introduce iAnywhere Mobile Mail, an application that provides wireless, dial-up or cradle access to fundamental features such as enterprise e-mail, calendar, contacts and schedule information from a variety of handheld devices.

The application, which is based on software from Extended Systems Inc., will support any device that runs Palm Inc.s Palm OS, Microsoft Corp.s Windows CE or Pocket PC, or the Epoc operating system, said officials at the Emeryville, Calif., company.

Supported e-mail systems include Lotus Development Corp.s Domino, Microsoft Exchange, and any IMAP4 or Post Office Protocol 3-compliant systems such as Novell Inc.s GroupWise.

The application provides the ability to download and read messages offline, offers filter settings that enable users to customize which data is synchronized, and includes a variety of management tools. iAnywhere Mobile Mail uses Certicom Inc.s 128-bit encryption.

Wireless access to e-mail isnt a novel idea, but officials said they wanted to offer a complete wireless package. The company already sells data management software to keep track of a mobile work force and a variety of wireless database software.

"Essentially, were adding wireless e-mail and PIM [personal information manager] capabilities to [the existing] platform," said Tina Lorentz, director of business development for iAnywhere. "This places us as a one-stop shop for business needs. It allows us to be that single vendor."

Potential customers, though, said the industry may not be ready for a one-stop shop."We really dont buy wireless applications as a package," said Fran Rabuck, practice leader for mobile computing at Philadelphia-based Alliance Consulting and an eWeek Corporate Partner. Rabuck said he prefers to buy wireless software from the original manufacturer. "Everyone has this suite mentality, but I dont think the industry is ready for that yet. ... We like to go [vendor to vendor] for best-of-breed solutions," Rabuck said.

The software is available now. Pricing is on a per-user basis that varies according to the size and nature of the deployment. Lorentz said a deployment of 100 users will range from $10,000 to $15,000.