RealTime IT News

Ford Goes Wireless

Ford Motor Co. Thursday expanded its deployment of AvantGo Inc.'s enterprise software, allowing its workers to access intranet content via handheld devices.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but AvantGo said it charges corporate customers a one-time fee and a per user charge.

Ford said it went with AvantGo's software because it provides time-to-market advantages is cost effective for its large corporation. For Ford, AvantGo software provides timely updates to handheld devices from the corporate intranet withoutrequiring the company to invest in additional development resources or write additional code.

Using AvantGo, Ford employees with mobile devices are also accessing interactive and personalized content and applications from name-brand content publishers and e-businesses through the AvantGo mobile Internet service.

"With AvantGo, we are able to respond more quickly in this rapidly changing marketplace because we can give our executives around the world access to supplier information, sales figures and other key business metrics on their mobile devices," said Jim Yost, Ford Motor Co. vice president and chief information officer.

For AvantGo, the play is a hallmark of its enterprise initiative, launched in May. The strategy is representative of its desire to move from catering to individual personal digital assistant users to target larger firms' corporate bankrolls.

Before expanding its suite, AvantGo offered individual users a free software download that allows devices to receive content from sites, such as The New York Times and Salon, on their PDAs.