Psion, the largest shareholder behind Symbian, the operating system, has revealed an always-on email solution for the enterprise. The company's aim is to take mobile email from a top executive offering into the business mainstream by providing ease of use and lower cost of ownership. Richard Thurston reports.
Transcend Mail, as the GPRS-based product will be known, is currently being offered to network operators, application service providers and handset vendors for sale to their enterprise customers. The solution, which works on Symbian-based smartphones, is available either badged as Psion Software Transcend Mail, or as a white-label service.
Software is installed on the handset and the enterprise customer must install the Transcend Mail server next to its existing mail server. The Transcend server identifies that email has been received and pushes it out to the handset.
Psion Software's head of strategic marketing, Steve Maynard claims that a handset-based email solution has distinct advantages over PDAs for always-on email. "It's expensive for [corporate] IT departments to roll out PDAs, and they're usually handling phone roll out anyway. Then, of course, the user only has to use one device," he said.
Transcend Mail uses the smart-phone's existing email application, and also offers the user access to their contacts and calendar. It also limits the amount of data sent by not automatically sending attachments, by compression before encryption, and by the use of UDP rather than TCP/IP.
Psion is currently talking to industry players, but declined to reveal names. Transcend Mail will be made available during the third quarter of 2003.
Rival company Seven has already deployed its enterprise data services platform, System SEVEN, at Orange and O2 in the UK.