RealTime IT News

Pumatech Buys Rival Starfish

Mobile synchronization technology firm Pumatech on Monday announced plans to acquire Motorola subsidiary Starfish Software, a deal that gives it key patents in the area of enterprise synchronization software.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but it's a safe bet the price tag is nowhere near the millions paid by Motorola in 1998 to acquire Starfish four years ago. Starfish will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pumatech.

With Palm and HotSync leading the way in the enterprise synchronization space and Microsoft's popular Pocket PC supporting the ActiveSync platform, the deal gives Pumatech toehold in the burgeoning space.

Starfish has been active in the SyncML initiative, the XML-based open standard for sharing PIM data across networks and device while Pumatech features SyncML in mobile enterprise synchronization products.

"This acquisition combines Pumatech's expertise with PDAs and PCs with Starfish's expertise in the cell phone and over-the-air markets," said Woody Hobbs, CEO of Pumatech. Hobbs said the combined entity would target the market for mobile, groupware and enterprise software, especially in the area of complex synchronization.

Starfish's flagship TrueSync product is a popular over-the-air phone synchronization software that features end-to-end synchronization for wireless data services, enterprise applications, mobile devices and corporate infrastructures.