Wireless push e-mail doesn't have to come with a high price tag or require a smartphone. Seven Networks, a provider of wireless e-mail software, and service provider Alltel Wireless last week extended wireless push e-mail to cell phones that use the Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless, or Brew, a Qualcomm application development platform.
Now anyone sporting a phone like the Motorola Razr and an Alltel subscription can use Seven's Office Sync software for Brew to receive wireless e-mail. Businesses can get the service from Alltel, the fifth largest U.S. cellular provider, for $15 a month with unlimited data transmission. T-Mobile already offers wireless push e-mail powered by the BlackBerry Connect service on the Samsung t719 flip phone for $30 a month with a phone plan.
Wireless e-mail is one of the most popular apps among business professionals, so demand for mobile devices that offer it is growing (see "Everyone Wants One," Dec. 19/26, 2005). Smartphones have been the best way to get wireless e-mail. But they remain pricey, typically from $200 to $300 for the device, plus subscription fees.
Some companies want to give wireless e-mail to employees who don't need access to business apps; lower-end mobile devices make sense for them. "We're definitely seeing a trend where lower-end phones are getting e-mail," says Kathryn Weldon, an analyst at Current Analysis, "and they're a lot cheaper to use."
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.