Partnership to make Web services mobile in Europe

Genient and vVault are teaming to offer European mobile telecommunication operators a product that will enable them to quickly introduce services such as mobile access to files and enterprise applications, the two software firms announced Monday.

London-based Genient offers a Web services integration platform, while San Francisco-based vVault specializes in mobile productivity applications and software infrastructure.

Genient and vVault say they are working with a U.K. carrier, but won't disclose which one. The collaboration marks vVault's first move into Europe.

One analyst wasn't impressed, saying that Genient is basically an ASP (Application Service Provider) and that customers would have to hand over part of their applications to Genient to have mobile access, something many users aren't comfortable with.

"People won't wow about this. The market still isn't ready for ASPs. First the customer needs to be secure with handing out an environment and having it hosted for them," said Clive Longbottom, service director with analyst firm Quocirca Ltd.

"There is a lot of tire kicking, a lot of interest in mobility, but not a lot of people (users) are getting in to it," he added.

The services, based on standards such as SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and XML (Extensible Markup Language), are to be offered on GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks, Genient and vVault said. GPRS allows packet-switched wireless connections at about the speed of a traditional PC modem.

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