A Call to Mobilize Biz Apps

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Sybase chief John Chen in his CTIA keynote calls for more cooperation in the mobile industry to help enterprises extend their critical business applications out to their mobile work forces.

NEW ORLEANS—Sybase Inc. CEO, Chairman and President John Chen is calling for more cooperation in the mobile industry to help enterprises extend their critical business applications out to their mobile work forces.

In his keynote at the CTIA wireless conference here Tuesday, Chen said the next key step for enterprise mobility is to extend to mobile workers applications beyond e-mail, such as sales force automation and field service applications. He encouraged enterprise users to adopt a new business model in which wireless is viewed as something integral to a network rather than an addendum.

"Now somebody's going to take this and make it part of the business process early on," said Chen.

Toward that end, Sybase announced three new mobile partnerships.

With Research In Motion Ltd., of Waterloo, Ontario, Sybase extended its subsidiary iAnywhere Solutions Inc. mobile software for RIM's BlackBerry wireless platform to help BlackBerry users access business applications other than just e-mail.

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With Atlanta-based Cingular Wireless, Sybase optimized several iAnywhere mobile products for Cingular's high-speed EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution) wireless data network.

These products include M-Business Anywhere, a platform for extending Web-based content and applications to mobile devices; Mobile Pharma and Mobile Sales, software for extending data to sales forces out in the field; Pylon Anywhere, for remote access to Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange e-mail, calendar and contacts; and Unwired Accelerator, for mobilizing Web-enabled enterprise applications and databases.

Sybase is also working with Sprint Corp., of Overland Park, Kan., to develop applications tailored for vertical industries including financial services, insurance, education, manufacturing, professional services and pharmaceuticals, said Chen.

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Working closely with wireless operators will be key for the mobile industry in encouraging and helping enterprise users extend mobile applications, said Chen.

"We're talking about a common vision of enterprises adopting unwired applications," said Chen.

Sybase also announced it has inked an OEM agreement with wireless communications equipment supplier Cellstar Corp., of Carrollton, Texas, to offer wireless operators a software application to extend Internet content more easily to mobile devices.

"Rather than going to a site where content is already aggregated, this allows you to aggregate content you want on your phone. For example, I'm a huge cycling fan, so I can pull cycling content off the Internet onto my smart phone and essentially create my own portal," said Sybase spokesman Marty Beard, in Dublin, Calif. Sybase said the software, called mFolio Content Creation Services, optimizes Internet content for small screens on mobile devices.

One company that has changed the way it does business by mobilizing its applications is Winfield Solutions, a Canadian company that provides software to airports in the United States and Canada for tracking, recording and analyzing bird traffic and other wildlife behavior at airports, in an attempt to prevent accidents.

Winfield said the majority of airports using the company's desktop software are now using Sybase's PocketBuilder for Microsoft Corp. Pocket PC devices to expedite the process of collecting wildlife data in the field.

"After a typical day, some people come back with three to four pages of data entry, and the last thing they feel like doing is putting it into a computer," said Winfield. "For one contractor, he had a mandate for his contract that the guys had to be on the airfield from 7 [a.m.] to 7 [p.m.], and when they came back with their sheets he had to pay them extra money to get data off the sheets. He knew right up front, it would be a win-win. It's automatically saving him dollars per hour, and on top of that, the manager there says they're getting more data back than ever."

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