Vignette spin-off sings of wireless apps

By Jessica Davis, InfoWorld |  Networking

LOOKING TO CASH in on the opportunities in 2.5 and 3G (third generation) wireless networks, Vignette has spun off a separate company to develop products for carriers, the company announced Wednesday. SoloMio's charter is to develop a new kind of software application for wireless carriers that enables them to offer personalized, data-enhanced voice services to their mobile customers.

"Our target is to provide a radical set of new services in that environment that recognizes that the killer application for wireless phones is voice communications," said Richard Schwartz, CEO of the new company and former senior vice president and general manager of convergence applications at Vignette.

"It's not mobile commerce or e-business in the phone," Schwartz said. "It's using e-business technology to solve a different problem: How do you smarten up a phone network so that it can do more for you?"

Schwartz declined to provide examples of specific applications under development, but said that the new technologies would rely on the enhanced capabilities of next generation wireless networks, such as the ability to use a wireless phone for voice and data simultaneously.

New location technologies that enable the network provider to determine where the phone is physically located will play a smaller role in the new applications, Schwartz said.

"The applications will help me more effectively communicate with others," Schwartz said. "They will inject intelligence into the basic communication characteristics of the phone."

According to a statement from Vignette, the services will use advanced e-business and personalization technologies. The services are also expected to increase the speed of adoption for the next generation wireless networks and will increase revenues per subscriber for wireless carriers, according to Vignette.

SoloMio is Vignette's first incubator concept to be spun off, and the company has received venture funding from Vignette and Austin Ventures.

SoloMio is in active discussions with wireless carriers in Europe and Asia and expects to be part of the next generation wireless infrastructures there later this year and in 2002.

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