IBM goes wireless with suite, handful of deals


As part of its strategy for pervasive computing, IBM has signed agreements with Nokia, Motorola, Cisco Systems, Intel, L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co., Palm, and Symbian to work with the companies to develop and market integrated products for the wireless Web-based ecommerce market.

At the same time, IBM announced WebSphere Everyplace Suite server software. It is said to let businesses easily develop, manage, and deliver Web and enterprise applications to a variety of devices, including wireless handsets, PDAs and other Internet appliances. Pricing has not been set.

As devices proliferate, IT managers are faced with the need to deploy to multiple delivery devices. IBM maintains that a common database can feed those devices if appropriate middleware is put in place. Thus the push for WebSphere Everyplace.

"The bottom line is you want to avoid the situation where you author the content multiple times" for mobile phones, PalmPilots and PCs, analyst Mike Gilpin at Cambridge, Mass.-based Giga Information Group told Computerworld.

IBM's Global Services group said it is prepared to support quick-start engagements using the WebSphere Everyplace software suite.

Specifically, Motorola and IBM are partnering on an open, scalable voice and data framework for Internet service providers (ISPs) and application service providers (ASPs) to develop and access wireless software and services. The initial framework will be available by the third quarter, IBM said in a statement. IBM did not disclose any financial terms of the various agreements.

Also, Nokia will partner with IBM on wireless ecommerce services for ISPs and ASPs provided over Nokia's Artus Messaging Platform product, IBM said. Cisco and IBM are developing wireless networks for ASPs and ISPs, IBM said.

IBM is working with Ericsson, Palm, Symbian, and Intel to develop IBM software that works with the companies' various wireless hardware products, IBM said. IBM has also signed on to Palm's Global Alliance Program, the company said.

Includes IDG News Service material by Laura Rohde, IDG News Service

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