New IBM Technologies Ease Wireless Deployment

Product enhancements and partnerships expand IBM's pervasive computing portfolio and industry momentum

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Somers, New York - 23 Sep 2003: IBM today announced a range of product enhancements and partnerships designed to transform the way enterprise applications are delivered to wireless devices.

Central to today's announcements is new mobile middleware technology, Extension Services for WebSphere Everyplace, aimed at enabling new and existing applications and services to be extended to pervasive devices more easily. New offerings also include device management applications from partners and new speech and multimodal enhancements that can provide more natural ways to access technology.

Following closely on the heels of an agreement with Research in Motion (RIM) to extend BlackBerry devices' reach into the enterprise, today's announcements build on growing industry support for IBM's open standards-based mobile middleware portfolio.

This month, developers will be able to make use of extended Java functions on Palm devices via IBM's WebSphere Micro Environment. Optimized for Palm's Tungsten line of handhelds, this is the result of an ongoing relationship with Palm. With today's announcement, IBM now supports more of the handheld operating systems worldwide than any other vendor -- including support for RIM, Palm, Linux, Symbian and Pocket PC. Together, these handheld operating systems make up at least 90% of the worldwide market, according to Gartner.

Part of a wide portfolio of technology and services that cuts across the company, IBM's offerings are designed to optimize interoperability of key components of the pervasive computing ecosystem. These include mobile extensions of IBM's enterprise software including e-mail and instant messaging from Lotus, DB2 database software, device management software from Tivoli and software development solutions from Rational.

"This goes beyond enhancing what is already one of the industry's most complete mobile middleware portfolios," said Rod Adkins, general manager of IBM's pervasive computing division. "It expands what is increasingly becoming a louder industry call-to-arms for the creation of an ecosystem that can allow on demand access to any content, from any device, on any network."

IBM's new Extension Services for WebSphere Everyplace technology is embedded middleware that enables partners, device manufacturers and enterprise customers to extend the WebSphere platform and Java-based applications to devices. Rather than rewriting applications for mobile devices or requiring a connected micro-browser to access information, this technology provides a services-oriented runtime environment that enables connection-independent deployment and lifecycle management of applications and network services. With Extension Services technology, end users can remotely download only portions of applications and data they need to complete secure transactions -- whether or not they are connected to the network.

IBM partner Blue Martini Software has integrated Extension Services technology, along with WebSphere MQ Everyplace, into Blue Martini Interactive Selling -- a sales enablement application that can help salespeople across the entire sales process from assessing customer needs and designing and configuring solutions to generating quotes and proposals and taking orders.

"Companies need to empower their sales teams with tools that actively support the entire sales process, rather than simply track pipeline status and contact information," said Monte Zweben, Chairman and CEO, Blue Martini Software. "IBM's Extension Services technology has enabled us to extend our solution to cost-effectively reach 'sometimes connected' sales teams and channel partners wherever they are working, extending the value of our solution."

Independent Software Vendors are also integrating IBM's WebSphere Device Management software, based on IBM Tivoli technology, into their solutions. These include:

In the speech technology arena, IBM announced:

"IBM and Nuance are both strong supporters of open standards - such as VoiceXML. This is why both companies are working together to deliver scalable, accurate speech solutions powered by both Nuance and IBM technology," said Chuck Berger, president and CEO, Nuance. "Today, our relationship remains strong, and we are pleased that IBM's WebSphere Voice Application Access will support the Nuance Voice Platform, providing customers with even greater flexibility in their choice of speech solutions."


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Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source