Ericsson beefs up push offer

Ericsson released an upgraded version of its Ericsson Mobile Organizer push software platform.

Ericsson released the latest version of its enterprise "push" offering, allowing handheld device users to search a corporate contacts list and sync with corporate databases, in addition to receiving push e-mail.

Ericsson Mobile Organizer 5.1 can be used with almost any Symbian or Windows Mobile device and integrates with Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino. Corporate e-mail is pushed to the handset and changes made on the handset to contact lists, calendar events or e-mail are automatically synched with back-end databases.

This new version of Ericsson Mobile Organizer adds access to the corporate address book and improves security by supporting end-to-end data encryption. Also, the software is now integrated with Ericsson's Mobile Device Management system so if users lose their device or find it stolen, they can remotely erase data on the device. The data can first be remotely backed up so that it can be restored later on a new device.

In a similar announcement, Nokia in mid-September introduced Nokia Business Center, a software platform connecting wireless devices with enterprise databases, starting with push e-mail. Other independent software developers including Visto, Consilient and Seven Networks Inc. also sell mobile push software.

In addition, an upgrade to Windows Mobile 5.0 that will become available early next year will support push solutions. However, companies like Ericsson think their solutions may win out because they support a wide variety of devices. "For enterprises, it's important to be device independent," said David Ekberg, director for mobile data solutions at Ericsson. "They want something that works on any phone or [personal digital assistant], not just Windows Mobile."

Also, applications like the one from Ericsson may appeal to a wider base because they support Windows Exchange and Lotus Domino on the back end as well as Pop3 and IMAP for smaller businesses, Ekberg said.

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