Understand your true business needs, Ovum urges businesses

A leading analyst has warned enterprise IT managers to examine carefully the motives behind their mobile enterprise projects.

Jessica Figueras, senior analyst for wireless technologies at Ovum, told delegates at this week's Mobile Enterprise Summit in London that, "Projects that are invented by the IT department will fail if you don't get it right.

"Have a vision, by all means, but make it practical. Know your organisation and how your employees work," she said.

"The technology is really, really complicated [in that there are] so many components -- networks, devices and infrastructure ... The most reliable guide to the choice is the end user. Think about their information needs."

The key to a successful mobile project is to tread carefully with users who may be unfamiliar with mobile devices, and to establish exactly the reason why the rollout is to take place, Figueras said.

"The business goal is not to be a mobilised enterprise," she added. "Try to map mobile technology onto the business processes that are really needed."

External Links


T-Mobile UK & T-Mobile Deutschland see progress with Europe's first cross-border interoperable M-payment system

Encorus Technologies, a leading mobile payments software and services company, and T-Mobile, one of the world's leading mobile network operators, today announced significant developments in Europe's first cross-border interoperable m-payments system.  Initially serving Germany and the UK, the system is based on a complete end-to-end solution provided by Encorus, which is majority owned by First Data Corp.

T-Mobile's "Mobile Wallet" is available to T-Mobile customers on t-zones (T-Mobile's mobile multi media services) - enabling them to make simple and secure payments for goods and services from their mobile devices using existing credit or debit cards. The t-zones portfolio of infotainment offers already include a wide range of news, games, sport, music, finance and chat services.

"Today, m-payment services represent a major opportunity for innovative mobile operators," said Dr. Klaus Tebbe, Executive Vice President, Consumer Marketing and Wholesale, T-Mobile International. "Encorus delivered a comprehensive m-payments service, enabling us to focus on our core network and services while Encorus handled processing and merchant recruitment, which drastically reduced our time to market."

Uniquely, Encorus has provided T-Mobile with wallet software, transaction processing and merchant acquiring services.  Merchants participating in the t-zones service include Allsports, Aral, ebookers, Germanwings, getgo, OTTO, Orion, TELTIX, and WHSmith to name just a few. 

"T-Mobile is a leading global mobile operator and it is only fitting that it should be the first to successfully implement a cross-border payment system in Europe," said Caroline Watteeuw, COO, Encorus Technologies. "With this complete solution, Encorus confirms its leadership position in the m-payments space as the only company offering mobile operators merchant acquiring services, processing and mobile payment software."

External Links


15 customers and counting

SurfKitchen has secured its 15th customer, the latest in a
string of recent customer launches that includes O2 UK, O2 Germany, TIM in Greece and SONOFON (Denmark).

SurfKitchen's software, SurfKit Mobile, is the only mobile desktop solution operational anywhere in the world that provides client-server functionality across all major mobile operating platforms and allows the operator to control and update the application over the air. SurfKit Mobile is available
in three editions, Operator, Enterprise and Media, and it helps to deliver a PC-like experience on a mobile phone, giving users simpler and quicker access to premium services. The company will soon be announcing customers for its Enterprise and Mobile editions.

SurfKit Mobile's value to operators is demonstrated by SONOFON, which has reported a rise in mobile data usage and revenues since deploying SurfKit Mobile to power its e-go mobile portal, with the number of MMS messages sent by its customers rising by 225 per cent.

Stefanos Melissopoulos, Senior Director of Value Added  Services & Roaming Services of TIM in Greece, said: "We see data services as the key revenue generator in the future - if they are of a high quality and easily accessed. It was therefore crucial that we implemented the best possible data services
solution to power our TIM Imagine mobile portal. Extensive testing has shown us that SurfKit Mobile is that solution."

Philip Letts, CEO of SurfKitchen, said: "SurfKit Mobile revolutionises the mobile data experience for users and it is this that has driven our rapid growth. We are now the world commercial leader in mobile desktop software, both in terms of revenues and number of customers. Over the next six months SurfKitchen is looking to push on from this strong position and expand outside of Europe and our traditional customer base by opening offices in Asia and the USA."

To date SurfKitchen has won every formal request for proposal (RFP) that it has been involved in and has successfully delivered all implementations of SurfKit Mobile on time. Critically for operators, SurfKit Mobile can be deployed in just a couple of months, enabling them to provide their data
services quickly and easily. SurfKit Mobile is the only mobile desktop software that combines the functionality to enable users to view online web pages offline, allow the graphical user interface (GUI) to be customised and that can be updated remotely over the air.

SurfKitchen has also signed a number of strategic partnerships to extend the range of services offered by SurfKit Mobile. Recent announcements include partnerships with Celltick, the leading provider of mobile interactive broadcast solutions, and Netsize, the leader in mobile business and entertainment solutions.

External Links


Pointsec Mobile Technologies today released Pointsec for Symbian OS 2.0, the latest version of its security package for mobile devices running Symbian OS. Now, enterprise users of Sony Ericsson P800/P900 smartphones can receive the same level of mobile data protection as Pointsec provides for other mobile platforms.

Pointsec for Symbian OS 2.0 offers extensive data protection solutions for the Symbian operating system. Files and folders are automatically encrypted in real time, with no user intervention required. Email and SMS data can also be encrypted and decrypted on the fly. The updated release comes with added support for central administration, Remote
Help, and Pointsec's user-friendly PicturePIN authentication.

"Pointsec's vision is to offer enterprise-class data protection
solutions, that are both easy to use and easy to manage, for all common mobile platforms. Many organisations would like to view their smartphone and PDA users as part of their network infrastructure and give them access to critical resources. However, in many cases there are relevant security and management issues that must be addressed before this can
become reality," said Peter Larsson, CEO of Pointsec Mobile

"From a security perspective, you instinctively want to manage
smartphones and PDAs in much the same way laptops are managed. By using Pointsec throughout the mobile workforce, sensitive information can be protected, independent of platform choice."

Information stored on PDAs and smartphones is usually completely unprotected, or protected only through elementary access control. This weakness can become a serious issue if an unprotected device is lost or stolen. Once in place, Pointsec for Symbian OS automatically encrypts all files before they are stored, and decrypts them when opened by an authenticated user - a process that is automatic and fully transparent to the user and which does not noticeably affect performance.

The strong and fast 128-bit AES encryption applied by Pointsec for Symbian OS 2.0 provides protection for all kinds of information, including SMS and email messages, Microsoft Word or PowerPoint files. Pointsec's solution also offers protection for information stored on removable memory cards.

In addition to encryption, Pointsec's patent-pending PicturePIN
technology replaces standard alphanumeric passwords with an
easy-to-remember picture-based access control mechanism. Pointsec's PicturePIN provides easy to use access control that prevents unauthorized users from accessing devices.

Key new features in Pointsec for Symbian OS 2.0 include support for central management using Pointsec profiles. Pointsec profiler enable IT and security management to create, change, and enforce the organization's security policies, so that they control all mobile users. Full Remote Help is now also available. Users who accidentally lock their devices can regain access by calling their helpdesk and completing the secure Remote Help challenge/response procedure.

Pointsec for Symbian OS 2.0 is available from Pointsec Mobile
Technologies. Pointsec for Symbian OS 2.0 supports Sony  Ericsson smartphones P800 and P900. More Symbian OS  devices will be supported later in 2004.

External Links


Application for Series 60 platform based on Symbian OS extends reach of MobileMeeting

Polycom, the world's leading provider of Unified Collaborative Communications solutions, today announced the availability of Polycom's MobileMeetin wireless instant group calling application for the Symbian O, the industry-leading smartphone operating system.

The solution has been delivered as part of Symbian's Catalyst Program, a 'by invitation' program bringing new and innovative solutions to commercial reality. By ensuring support for Symbian OS, MobileMeeting will enable faster, more simplified group creation and call set-up from a wider choice of Symbian OS smartphones.

MobileMeeting is an innovative instant group calling application for mobile carriers that offers a fast and convenient way to connect and collaborate on mobile phones and devices, enabling people to work efficiently and effectively while on the go.

By pressing a few keys on a wireless phone or next-generation data device, users can instantly initiate group calls and quickly connect with others for voice collaboration.  For mobile operators, MobileMeeting provides a service that increases revenue, attracts high ARPU users, and reduces churn.

"Imagine having the ability to initiate conference calls on-the-fly with any number of participants through a few simple key presses - that's what MobileMeeting for Symbian OS brings to the market," said Jerry Panagrossi, vice president of US operations, Symbian. "Innovative technologies and services, such as MobileMeeting for Symbian OS, stand to change fundamentally the way we think about communicating with entire groups, teams, and departments through the use of a Symbian OS-based mobile phone."

"The openness and flexibility of Symbian OS allows us to deliver MobileMeeting to any number of smartphones based on Symbian OS after their manufacture," said Bill Ernstrom, vice president and general manager of Polycoms Voyant division.  "We are excited that MobileMeeting is part of the Catalyst Programme to build on the great functionality of smartphones based on Symbian OS, making the smartphone a more ubiquitous and powerful communication tool."

External Links

Symbian Signed

Enabling business users to run two way mobile messaging communications direct from their PC

Zinek, the leading developer of mobile messaging servers for mobile and broadband application services providers, announced today the availability of the latest enterprise communicate products - Mobile Manager (SMS Plug in to Microsoft's Outlook) and Mobile Buddylist PC client (SMS sending client). These new enterprise products connect directly to Zinek's robust Message Exchange server providing global messaging coverage and the ability to push and receive all forms of mobile data.

"SMS is fast becoming an integral part of business as it allows information to be sent instantaneously," states Zidane Nekmouche, CEO of Zinek. "The beauty of Zinek's two new enterprise SMS clients is that they combine established communication channels into an even more effective tool - both in terms of time, and ultimately, cost of enterprises".

"There is currently a significant, unfulfilled demand for SMS solutions in the enterprise market," say Paul Kinsella, VP Marketing at Zinek.  Many leading analysts have reported that SMS will become as mission critical to business as email, but until now companies have not had access to the kinds of tools needed to integrate SMS into their businesses.  Zinek has made SMS simple to use, secure to operate, cost effective to utilize and easy to integrate with existing technology. Through our partnership with many system integrators around the world, international businesses of all sizes can now make SMS a key part of their business communications environment".

External Links


Don’t compare us to i-Pass; mobile operators "baffle us"

Corporate remote access specialist GRIC has changed its name to GoRemote and launched a new version of its remote access client software at the same time.

The name change goes along with a new policy to be more involved as a direct entity to the enterprise market, and get involved not just as a remote access specialist but as an all-dancing provider of corporate VPNs and a Frame Realy replacement. GRIC has until now been mainly resold by other service providers and VARs.

For Mobile Europe readers the main innovation of Mobile Office 5 is the inclusion of GPRS as an access option on the client. GPRS joins dial, Ethernet and WLAN as connectivity options. A user who already has a GPRS device of some kind can connect to the GPRS network by hooking his phone to the laptop, or via infrared, or PCMCIA card. Choice of access is determined by the client directory, which tells the user what his best option is, depending on location. The client also includes an SMS button, so that users connected by GPRS can use it to send and receive text messages.

Tom D’Arezzo, director of product management said GoRemote was also including additional administrator management and security functions in the client, to make it easier for enterprises to manage large numbers of mobile or remote workers. VPN technology from Cisco, Nortel, CheckPoint and Microsoft is integrated, as are firewalls and intrusion detection systems. If the VPN connection drops at any point, then the client automatically drops the connection.

D’Arezzo said that GoRemote was looking to partner with mobile operators to help them add value to their enterprise products. In his opinion most operators were too busy looking after their own evolution to 3G and were "not orientated to solving enterprise problems."
"They are looking to sell access technology and access technology is pre-disposed to commoditisation, there has to be a value-add, which is what we offer." D’Arezzo said GoRemote has been in contact with most of the major operators, and has had a standing engagement with Vodafone. 

"The mobile world has to change the way it works," he added. "It is all about consistency and performance levels. The first step is our GPRS capability on the client, where you can interface by clicking twice on the laptop – making it more usable for the user and the CIO, with all security integrated."

He admitted that many operators would have legacy clients "and for reasons that baffle us they have decided to maintain their legacy client or installed base." Other operators, such as Vodafone with its Dashboard product, are developing their own client, but D’Arezzo cautioned that as yet he saw no evidence of businesses using GPRS as a standard connectivity option.

D’Arezzo also had a harsh word for the company most obviously associated as a competitor to GoRemote, iPass. "With our solutions focussed approach we do all the things that iPass does not do," he said. "If you want remote access and you want any colour you like as long as it is black. Their focus is on remote access and security and our focus is on he entire remote workforce orientation of the enterprise. We are comparative except our client is a significant innovation and far above what everybody else is providing," he concluded.

External Links


Greek mobile operator Cosmote will launch commerically available i-mode from June 7, Mobile Europe has learnt. The operator will announce its i-mode service launch at a press conference scheduled to be held on 3 June, meeting a commitment to have I-mode services up and running in time for the Olympic Games.

Greek mobile operator Cosmote will launch commerically available i-mode from June 7, Mobile Europe has learnt. The operator will announce its i-mode service launch at a press conference scheduled to be held on 3 June, meeting a commitment to have I-mode services up and running in time for the Olympic Games.

This week Cosmote launched its 3G service, bringing mobile video streaming to the Greek market for the first time. The operator will cover 30% of the country at launch, and will offer customers the Sony Ericsson Z1010 and Nokia’s 7600 for video calling and streaming.

The launch of the service conincides with some cheap rates up until July 31 – close to the start of the Olympics. Video calling will cost half the usual rate until that date, at EUR.005 per second, and internet access packages will have twice the normal usage included. Video
streaming will cost users EUR5 per month for a 500Mb bundle, with EUR.001 charged for every kb over the 500MB limit.

Cosmote’s W-CDMA network was supplied by Ericsson, which has the contract for further equipment until the end of 2004. I-mode is a proprietary data service developed by Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo. NTT has signed up several other European operators for I-mode services (Bouygues, WIND, KPN Mobile, E-Plus, Telefonica Movile Espana) and sees great potential for marketing services available on i-mode during the Olympics. Cosmote is one of the major sponsors of the games.

External Links


OSS giant Telcordia has hastened consolidation in the OSS sector by buying up inventory specialist and sometime business partner Granite Systems.

Granite was 20% owned by Telcordia's own parent company Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and was a partner in Telcordia's Elementive programme. (Elementive is Telcordia's open standard, modular approach for next generation OSS products and solutions.)
Rich Mangan, vp EMEA for Telcordia, said that the acquisition was made at a time when operator and carrier investment in OSS is "taking off".
"Granite has an excellent position in inventory management and we already have a number of dealings with Granite and it seemed a perfect time. We had a good working relationship and a nice cultural fit."
Mangan said that there were no current plans to acquire more of Telcordia's Elementive partners. "I am sure we will continue to succeed with our partners but we will not necessarily buy all of our partners."

Operators are hoping Euro 2004 and the Olympic Games will be the drivers to make 2004 the year when MMS really takes off. But are operators ready for the delivery of mass market numbers of MMS? And is the public aware that it is expected to take part in this orgy of MMS later this year?

Sicap's head of marketing Per-Johan Lundin believes operators are, in general, ready to send out large numbers of MMS to subscribers signing up for updates, clips and news from Portugal or Athens. In any case, if they are not, he advocates a bulk MMS delivery platform Sicap is touting to European mobile operators. 
But he is more concerned that consumers may not be so ready to partake in this sports-fuelled orgy of MMS. Research from Sicap has found that 82% of all UK mobile subscribers have never sent an MMS.
And it's not rocket science as to why. The two main reasons are not knowing how to send an MMS, and confusion over how much it will cost.
"We in the industry are doing it again," he said, referring to the industry's emphasis on technology rather than services. "We have a constant tendency to misjudge the market and how quick it will be. Even our experience with SMS shows that it is only in relatively recent years that it has taken off," Lundin said.
Lundin said that getting as many MMS compatible handsets into the market as possible would be important, and added that he thought the industry had now "largely sorted out" interoperability issues at the network level.
But MMS is not just about photo messaging, and other types of person to person content. Sports events lend themselves perfectly to application to person messaging.
To enable this operators need an infrastructure that will allow them to send large numbers of MMS across the network near-simultaneously.
Sicap has launched a bulk MMS solution that, by prioritising the messages, Lundin said, will enable operators to send out a large amount of MMS without congestion.
But pinning hopes on sport to drive MMS may not be the wisest route, according to others in the industry. A source at Mobile Cohesion said that operators needed to broaden the scope of the communities of interest they could attract with MMS.
Mobile Cohesion markets a platform that enables operators to manage large numbers of content providers.
 "You can talk about sports and news services, Morgan told Mobile Europe, "but not everyone is interested in sport, and in any case that keeps operators with just five or six content providers."
"We are talking about being able to address multiple communities with multiple mobile content providers --- whatever area of interest they serve."
The implication for mobile operators is that not only do they need to have the infrastructure in place to deliver large numbers of MMS, they need their own partner management platforms to be in place.
Sicap product manager Thomas Kienle said that technical integration of network elements is not the hard part. Most integration challenges come on the process side.
"The problem is more in changing process, changing the authorisation process and information input, content flows, billing in real time, the whole integration into legacy systems," Kienle said.