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IBM, Openwave in Alliance

Communication infrastructure software and applications developer Openwave is teaming with IBM Corp. to combine messaging technologies like IM with Big Blue's WebSphere software platform for e-business.

Openwave's messaging and mobile software includes e-mail, Mobile Instant Messaging (IM), unified messaging, multimedia messaging, downloading, browsing, provisioning and subscriber and services management. IBM components include WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Voice Server and WebSphere Everyplace Server, WebSphere Business Integrator, Tivoli technology management software and DB2 data management software.

IBM's Lotus division, meantime, will create and integrate interoperable messaging solutions between Openwave service provider customers and Lotus enterprise customers.

To maximize performance and reliability, the new IBM and Openwave solutions will be optimized on IBM pSeries eServers and Shark storage.

The new Openwave/IBM solutions will be delivered to customers via IBM's Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE), an open standards-based architecture. Service providers will be able to mix components of the products developed by the new alliance to match subscriber demand. SPDE will build a bridge for a seamless transition as carriers transfer from 2.5 to 3G-based networks.

Already, a real-world example of a product brought about by the alliance exists. IBM's WebSphere Portal is being combined with Openwave's Mobile Access Gateway. The integrated product gives service providers the ability to offer their subscribers a highly personalized information portal capable of handling rich multimedia content, transactions and multi-modal user interfaces. Services providers, meantime, benefit from reduced churn and commerce opportunities.

The end result of this alliance, according to both companies, will be revenue for service providers -- they can both sell data applications, products and services as well as reduce the cost of managing an increasingly complex operational environment for their customers. Consumers will benefit from better service and faster access to more data applications delivered to mobile devices, officials added.

Any solutions coming from the alliance will be sold by IBM Global Services. Financing from IBM Global Financing will also be available.

The pact between Redwood City, Calif.-based Openwave and Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM is for 10 years.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.