SAN MATEO (05/04/2000) - AvantGo Inc. is looking to help enterprise customers deliver corporate data to almost any handheld device with a new hosting service, AvantGo Enterprise Online.
With Framingham, Massachusetts, market research firm IDC predicting there will be more than 100 million Internet- connected mobile devices by the end of 2003, AvantGo is hoping to aid companies wishing to push their internal corporate applications and data to mobile handheld users. AvantGo supports devices that run PalmOS and Windows CE, as well as cellular phones using Wireless Application Protocol to serve Web content.
"This service lets companies extend the applications they have to a whole new category of devices," says Eric Lundstedt, product manager for application services at AvantGo. "They don't need additional hardware or resources to get mobile applications going."
The company sells the AvantGo Enterprise 3 server for customers who want to bring the AvantGo service in-house. The new hosted service targets customers who don't want the hassle of bringing a server in-house, as well as independent software vendors that want to build mobile access into their own offerings. The company will use its existing facility that is collocated with Level 3. The facility already serves 500,000 users via AvantGo's consumer site.
While the service allows companies to extend existing applications reach to a wider variety of devices, the drawback is that customers will have to tweak the user interfaces to use the mobile devices.
As for the service, AvantGo acts like a proxy server between enterprise and mobile users. Data is sent from the customer to AvantGo across the public Internet using Secure Sockets Layer encryption. The data is then sent from AvantGo's servers to requesting mobile devices.
The hosted facility offers 24-7 monitoring, server mirroring and the capacity for self-registration. This lets users sign up for the data they want to receive on their device without the help of IS staff.
Pricing for Enterprise Online starts at $10 to $15 per user per quarter with a $5,000 to $20,000 setup fee, depending on how many users a customer will be dropping on AvantGo's network.