New organization to help mobile enterprises

Enterprises seeking guidance to extend IT services to their increasingly mobile workforce may want to turn for support to a new not-for-profit, global organization launched at CeBIT.

Mobile Enterprise Alliance (MEA) aims to provide information and support to big and small companies around the globe that need to make decisions about a variety of issues, such as the compatibility of devices, networks and back-end servers, in order to provide mobility to their employees, the alliance said in a statement issued Thursday.

MEA membership will include IT vendors, service providers and systems integrators, which pay dues based on their revenues, and users, who pay nothing, said alliance Chairman Traver Gruen-Kennedy, speaking Thursday at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover, Germany.

Money raised through the membership dues will be used to publish case studies, commission market research and more, according to Gruen-Kennedy. "Our aim is to educate end-users with actual business case studies," he said. "We intend to create a huge case-study repository, organized by industry and country."

Members will be able to access this information on the alliance's Web site, which is being launched during CeBIT.

The alliance, which is being launched as an autonomous unit of the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), is "technology and vendor neutral," Gruen-Kennedy said. Its headquarters is in Geneva, he said.

Founding members include mobile device maker Palm Inc. and mobile phone operating system vendor Symbian Ltd. "We expect major IT companies, including Microsoft (Corp.), mobile operators and other companies associated with mobility to join," Gruen-Kennedy said.

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