ATTEMPTING TO GAIN favor with enterprises that are demanding wireless access
to enterprise applications, Cingular Wireless, Sprint, and AvantGo are on
the verge of rolling out new server-side technologies.
Designed to work inside the firewall, the products reflect IT executives'
unwillingness to trust service providers to host technologies that offer
wireless connectivity to corporate data.
Along with partners Neomar and Siebel Systems, Cingular will unveil at
its Wave 2002 conference in Las Vegas on May 14 an extensible single-server
solution that can deploy and manage multiple corporate applications to
a range of wireless devices such as PDAs and cell phones.
Cingular's offering, now in trial phase, uses NES (Neomar Enterprise
Server) software, which can send an HTTP request to any application server.
"It's like moving all your applications to one superbox," said
Butch Winters, CEO of San Francisco-based Neomar.
Neomar's technology, which forms the basis of Cingular's offering for
corporate customers, will be deployed at Atlanta-based Cingular during
the next 12 months.
Sprint is also chasing the enterprise with the Sprint PCS Business Connection
Enterprise Edition, which will be officially launched later this year
as a corporate version of PCS Personal Edition.
The Personal Edition offers users email and PIM (personal information
manager) access to their desktops from a Sprint phone, whereas the Enterprise
edition will give users direct access to Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes
Domino servers on the network.
Hayward, Calif.-based AvantGo for its part will announce on May 13 an
extension to its server infrastructure, AvantGo M-Business Server 5.0
Application Edition, which will use Web services to enable more feature-rich
corporate applications to be deployed to wireless devices.
Version 5.0 of the AvantGo platform for wireless devices will support
access to Web services protocols residing on top of corporate apps, and
will enable application developers to use any of the existing Web services
Meanwhile, Sprint is hedging its bets on the delivery models that enterprises
may adopt, announcing this week a Sprint-hosted service for access to
Analysts warn that enterprises are reluctant to use any solution that
does not offer control on their side of the firewall. "That has been
holding up a lot of mission-critical application development within the
enterprise," said Tim Scannell, president of ShoreLine Research in
"Because the Cingular solution can manage and handle things inside
the firewall, it sounds solid. But any time you use wireless, there are
still security concerns; not as many, but it doesn't go away," Scannell