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Nokia Expands Device Management Software Features

The software, part of the Nokia Intellisync Mobile Suite, gives businesses more options to support a larger range of smartphones and operating systems.

Nokia on Monday rolled out new features for its device management software, giving businesses more options to support a larger range of mobile devices and operating systems.

The device management software is part of the Nokia Intellisync Mobile Suite, a portfolio of products that reside on a single server. The mobile suite also includes wireless e-mail support, file sync, and application sync for smartphones that use the Symbian, Windows Mobile, Palm, and BlackBerry operating systems, as well as mobile devices based on Java and OMA DM. OMA DM is a protocol specified by Open Mobile Alliance for Device Management purposes, including provisioning, configuration, software upgrades, and fault management.

Last year, Nokia acquired Intellisync, a provider of wireless e-mail to a wide array of mobile devices and service providers, for $430 million. The acquisition gave Nokia the push it needed to compete in the enterprise smartphone market.

Microsoft in October introduced a server for managing and securing Windows Mobile devices, called System Center Mobile Device Manager. It's designed to remotely manage and provision Windows Mobile-based smartphones, as well as support connections to company VPNs.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion provides device management via its BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which the company has been selling for nearly a decade. BlackBerrys represent about 70% of the enterprise smartphone market, compared with 15% of smartphones that run the Windows Mobile operating system, according to research firm Yankee Group.

Several new features that Nokia introduced in the Intellisync Mobile Suite device management software put the phone maker alongside RIM and Microsoft when it comes to serving the mobile needs of businesses.

The first addition involves Nokia's integration of different device management technologies. Using one server, one database, one management user interface, and one license key, businesses can support multiplatform environments that include devices running OMA DM and the Nokia Intellisync Mobile Suite.

Another important feature is the ability for administrators to remotely take control of a device for troubleshooting, provisioning, upgrades, and training purposes.

The new release of the device management software is now enabled on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform and provides the full Web Administration user interface. The software also has been optimized for service providers with support for behind-the-firewall and hosted environments. The Intellisync Mobile Suite this week was selected by Aljawal, the mobile arm of Middle Eastern telecom provider Saudi Telecom, as both a hosted and as behind-the-firewall service, Nokia said.

Additionally, Nokia said it's working with security software makers such as Credant, F-Secure, Kaspersky, Pointsec, Siemens, TrendMicro, and TrustDigital to provide enterprises and service providers with a single tool for managing both mobile devices and applications.

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