Good Technology upgrades software, signs partners

Good Technology Inc. released the latest version of its wireless software with enhanced features for both IT managers and mobile users during an event in San Francisco Tuesday.

The new software, GoodLink 3.0, adds new features designed to improve the manageability of an enterprise deployment of wireless devices and replicate the look and feel provided by laptops, said Sue Forbes, vice president of marketing and product management for Good, in an interview prior to the event.

GoodLink is used on smart phones, personal digital assistants and other wireless devices to allow business customers to access their corporate e-mail wirelessly over cellular data networks such as GPRS (General Packet Radio Services), CDMA2000 1x (Code Division Multiple Access) or Mobitex. A copy of the software also resides on a server within a company's network.

Devices such as the Treo 600 with PalmSource Inc.'s Palm OS are supported by GoodLink, and as of Tuesday users of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile 2003 operating system can get in on the act, Forbes said.

The GoodLink software competes with the popular BlackBerry software from Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM). RIM also manufactures the BlackBerry mobile devices, while Good has partnerships with hardware manufacturers such as PalmOne Inc. and Dell Inc., in addition to its own device.

IT managers who have deployed Good's software on their network of mobile devices can now assign different levels of access to different members of their IT staffs, Forbes said. Previous versions of the software came with only one level of access to wireless devices, but the new version allows the IT manager to assign low-level tasks to the help desk staff while granting full access to the network to only a few high-ranking staff members, she said.

GoodLink 3.0 will make it easier to set up and configure a device by allowing the IT staff to update the device's profile over the cellular network, rather than having to physically upload or download information, Forbes said. That configuration feature won't be available until the second quarter, she said. The new software also comes with support for AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) security, replacing the Triple DES (Data Encryption Standard) security in the current version.

Additional benefits were added to make the use of a smart phone or other wireless device more familiar to enterprise users, Forbes said. The new software allows users to access their e-mail in a format that resembles Microsoft's Outlook e-mail client. Users can preview the first few lines of an e-mail before opening the message, allowing them to more quickly scan their e-mail, she said.

GoodLink 3.0 supports rich attachments, so users can read and modify Word and Excel documents, Forbes said. Users can also now run multiple applications with this release, she said.

None of the features that Good has built into the new software are particularly groundbreaking, but the company has put together a product that will help users and IT managers feel more comfortable when deploying wireless e-mail devices, said David Linsalata, an analyst with IDC in Framingham.

"The real advantage of Good's new product is that it takes a lot of things and combines them into one package. They have some things such as the multitasking that make the device easier to use" for mobile professionals such as salespeople, he said.

Good Technology, based in Sunnyvale, California, also announced plans to develop a portal for application developers to showcase their work, Forbes said. Information about applications such as Macromedia Inc.'s version of Flash for mobile devices, and DataViz Inc.'s Documents To Go will be posted on the Good Alliance Partner Program's Web site. (http://www.good.com/partnerportal).

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