To make the whole system work, MOEJ customers purchasing the package of 50 clients will also receive consulting services from IBM's Global Services group and product support from Palm, the spokesman said.
The cost of services for customers buying smaller packages of clients will vary and can be negotiated with IBM, he said.
The MOEJ program is just part of IBM's larger effort to establish itself as a leader in what it refers to as "non-traditional" or "pervasive" computing.
With its WebSphere platform and the integration expertise in the Global Services group, IBM is at the forefront of companies offering mobile technology solutions to enterprise customers, according to Adam Zawel, an analyst at Yankee Group.
And while $100,000 contracts for mobile e-mail and instant messaging clients might sound like small potatoes for an IT services giant like IBM, the MOEJ program has the potential to serve as a starting point for much larger jobs, Zawel said.
"Obviously, IBM wants to make more from each client than $100,000. But engagements can grow in terms of the number of users and also in terms of the depth of integrations," he said.
Once the benefits of mobile computing have been realized for e-mail, IBM's Global Services group may then be tapped to adapt other mission critical enterprise applications for mobile access, or even develop brand new applications for mobile users within an enterprise, Zawel said.