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Remember Integrating Desktops? Multiply The Pain By 10
IT silverbacks will no doubt remember how fun it was to integrateall the desktop computers people were bringing to the office
during the PC revolution. Now they're watching the same process
unfold as companies deal with palmtops tying into corporate
By 2004, according to a Gartner report, 70% of new mobile phones
and 40% of new PDAs will have direct access to Web content and
corporate networks. The kicker is that the PC revolution was
pretty much limited to PCs and Macs. The heterogeneity of palmtop
hardware, software, and standards will make the previous
management struggle look like kids' play.
Gartner analyst Phillip Redman says old-line software vendors
such as Computer Associates are jumping into the fray against
third-party incumbents such as AlterEgo Networks Inc. and Aether
Systems Inc. "Vendors that haven't had wireless as a top priority
from the beginning may not have management tools as compelling"
as the early risers, Redman says.
Mark Plakias, a Kelsey Group analyst, says most third-party
vendors are tied to XML as the primary wireless-content driver.
But XML is just one of many avenues, and CA, Tivoli Systems, and
others can build products that go beyond that it. None of the
integrations is "Herculean on their own, but by the time you add
up all the different wireless integrations, management becomes a
Plakias says large middleware vendors may have the key. Once
these vendors look beyond the device problems and get above
baseline tools such as Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, they can
tackle taking back-end E-business processes. "Then a company's
wireless strategy can shift from device handling and content
management to true applications and database integration, and
that's what companies like CA have to offer."
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