Will Expand Beyonds Patents Lead to New Partnerships?

Wireless software provider Expand Beyond has been awarded 46 patents for its wireless monitoring and management software-what will that mean for the company?

Wireless software provider Expand Beyond Corp. has been awarded 46 patents for its wireless monitoring and management software. But whether it will use those patents as leverage to collect royalties in an SCO Group-type gambit remains to be seen.

The patents detail the real-time monitoring and management of databases, servers and applications from wireless devices implemented in the Chicago companys XBanywhere technology. XBanywhere allows users to extend desktop or Internet-based applications to a mobile environment.

The patents also cover techniques for navigating through large database record sets, methods for formatting information on small screens and systems for graphing data on wireless devices.

Expand is hoping to lure large enterprise management players such as IBMs Tivoli unit, BMC Software Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co.s OpenView unit and others into partnerships to add a wireless access component to their management offerings, according to Expand CEO Ari Kaplan.

"This is a great complement to the Tivolis and the OpenViews," Kaplan said. "They go to great lengths to get the right alert to the right IT worker. Expand Beyond allows IT workers, once they get the alert, to monitor and do something about it in real time."

In one existing partnership, NCR Corp.s Teradata division resells Expands PocketDBA for Teradata.

But whether Expand will seek royalties from competitors with possibly overlapping technologies is unclear. Kaplan would say only, "Were exploring our options." He would not comment on whether Expand is in discussions with other wireless software providers.

Other players in the space include Sonic Mobility Inc., which was purchased last week by Avocent Corp., as well as Allen Systems Group Inc., according to Mark Ehr, an analyst with Enterprise Management Associates Inc., in Boulder, Colo.

"Its all been small point players. None of the big vendors came up with their own solutions for [wireless monitoring extensions]," Ehr said. Microsoft Corp. provides wireless access for its Systems Management Server through software it resells from Sonic Mobility, he said.


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