A real bonus is that this works with existing handsets, he said. Businesses developing sales force automation applications with Oracle 10g can extend access to their database to workers equipped only with an SMS-capable mobile phone, with no need for browser functions like WAP (Wireless Applications Protocol) or high-speed data services like GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), over the Vodafone network.
Vodafone will initially allow businesses to connect to its network through the Web service interface in Australia, New Zealand and eight European countries. Mobile workers roaming on any Vodafone partner network worldwide will be able to send and reply to the messages, however, Helms said.
Oracle's use of the code necessary to access the API is nonexclusive, said Janine Young, group communications manager at Vodafone Group Services Ltd. "We will be talking to other parties about it," she said. Those talks could involve companies such as SAP AG.
SMS is only the start of it, according to Vodafone.
"We have developed a roadmap that will allow us to do more advanced things in the future, taking advantage of location-based services and multimedia services," said Helms.