Which Handheld Would Mickey Choose?By Joseph C. Panettieri | Posted 2004-04-07 Email Print
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Hand-held and wireless technology are everywhere in Disney World, Joe Panettieri reports. And, when it comes to PDAs, it's HP vs. Symbol in the Mouse House. Get the dish on Disney and other integrations in Contract Watch.During the dot-com boom and even the economic bust, I always found time to sneak away with my family to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
During each trip, I never stopped looking at the technology around me. And there's plenty to see in The Magic Kingdom, Disney-MGM Studios and Epcot. Handheld and mobile wireless systems are now everywhere in the Mouse House. When you exit the "Test Track" ride in Epcot, you'll notice Hewlett-Packard Co.'s iPaq handhelds situated next to showroom cars from General Motors Corp. Visitors can use the handhelds to share their personal information and, in return, have product information sent to their homes.
Cool. Fine. Dandy. But not terribly mission-critical. Now, take a stroll over to Disney's mobile food carts. There, you'll find "ruggedized" wireless handhelds from Symbol Technologies Inc. The handheldsbasically, tiny point-of-sale systemswork in rain or shine and you'll find them by the hundreds throughout all of Disney's Orlando-based theme parks. The Symbol handhelds run standard operating systems (Palm or Windows CE) but are designed to survive harsh weather, unexpected falls and abuse in the field. Your customers will pay a few extra bucks for Symbol's ruggedized expertise, but the end-result is a handheld family that never quits on the job.
Cleared for Takeoff
Deal 3What Does EMC Have In Store?: Keep a close eye on EMC Corp.'s developing relationship with FalconStor Software Inc., a storage software specialist located in Melville, N.Y. A few hours before this column reached the Web, EMC licensed certain FalconStor technologies for use in its CLARiiON Disk Library.
FalconStor is a relatively small company with $16.9 million in annual revenue but the firm is pumping more and more sales through the channel. That's hardly surprising, since FalconStor's top managers came from Cheyenne Software Inc.a channel-friendly storage company that Computer Associates International Inc. acquired in 1997.
To grab a piece of the FalconStor action, check in with Wendy Petty, VP of North American Sales at the company. I ran into Petty during my brief stint with Cheyenne in 1996. She's smart and channel-savvy. CA should have held onto her after the Cheyenne buyout.
I Told You So
Working individually or in combination, the foursome intends to build and market compliance solutions based on FileNet's content management technology.
It's too early to say whether small solutions providers will get a piece of the action. Generally speaking, Network Appliance works with big integrators like Accenture Ltd. and Computer Sciences Corp. and Sun's history with partners is hit and miss. Your best bet is to knock on FileNet's door. In recent months, the content management specialist has reached out to more and more channel partners (see http://www.filenet.com/English/Partners/Solution_&_Technology_Partners/Global-English/033130019.asp) to build new revenue streams.
About Contract Watch: Each week, this column examines customer engagements that are stirring the channel, and the solutions providers behind them. Our goal is to strip away the hype and tell you what's really sellingand what isn'tin today's IT marketplace. Send your tips to my e-mail address below.