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Puma Technology Wants to Go Mobile

Puma Technology Inc. Thursday acquired Net software company NetMind Technologies Inc. in a stock deal worth $370 million.

Puma (PUMA), a leading provider of mobile device management and synchronization software, will exchange 5 million of its shares for all of NetMind's outstanding capital stock, warrants and options.

NetMind's technology includes a range of capabilities important to e-business firms when establishing mobile personalization solutions, including mining, extraction, notification, delivery, targeting, and analytics. It enables sites to offer highly personalized and relevant Internet content that convert casual site visitors into loyal, repeat consumers.

NetMind's Web-tracking and alert software, combined with Puma's Web browsing and synchronization technology, will enhance the use of Internet-connected mobile devices, including cellular and wireless smartphones -- a market expected to reach 600 million phones by 2003, according to Forrester Research and Gartner Group.

The technology integration will enable anyone to receive instant notification via Web-enabled mobile devices of changes to any relevant content on the Web or an intranet.

With NetMind's technology, a consumer can monitor his favorite e-commerce and auction sites for availability of a certain item at a specified price, instruct the service to instantly notify him of availability, and then allow him to purchase the item directly from his mobile device wherever he may be.

"With NetMind, we plan to rewrite the playbook for the entire mobile industry," said Brad Rowe, Puma's president and chief executive officer.

"Our goal is to be the first company to give users a completely personalized, instantaneous means to stay in touch with critical information, from any Web appliance on any network -- anywhere in the world -- and take action on it."

Currently, more than 45,000 Web sites currently employ NetMind's Mind-it Web personalization technology, with an active user base of more than 6 million subscribers globally. NetMind's clients include eBay (EBAY), Red Herring, IBM Corp., Hitachi Ltd. (HIT), Boeing Co. (BA) and many other high-profile companies.

Last April, NetMind's technology enabled eBay to launch its personal shopper solution, which allows clients to create personal searches and be notified via e-mail when specific items become available for sale, rather than manually repeating searches for the goods.

Forrester Research estimates that during 2000, 10 percent of all Web surfers will have the ability to connect a mobile device such as a PalmPilot or smartphone to the Web. By the end of 2001, that number is expected to reach 25 percent.

In October, Puma introduced Intellisync Version 3.6 software for the Palm Computing platform and Windows CE devices to fuel the use of palm devices in corporations.

Puma recently reported a total revenue of more than $600 million for Q1 of fiscal year 2000, a 42 percent increase over year-ago figures.



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