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Planet Intra Unveils Wireless Intranet

Planet Intra weighed in Monday with what it's calling the world's first completely instant wireless intranet application.

Accessible through cell phones and personal digital assistant such as Palm's products, the solution lets users access their intranets to collaborate on projects, documents, schedules and contacts.

In conjunction with the new product, Planet Intra Monday released Web Mail, a full-function e-mail feature that allows employees to communicate with colleagues, clients and business partners.

Planet Intra's users now will automatically receive a company Web Mail address when the system administrator provides them with access to the intranet. Planet Intra allows users to send and receive e-mail, and includes functionality that enables employees to create folders and rules, attach files, filter e-mail, sort messages and import contacts from Planet Intra's contact manager.

Tim Dorey, product manager at Planet Intra, told InternetNews.com Monday said he and his team have been working on getting the firm's intranet available on wireless devices for a couple of months as part of its strategy to remain focused on "hardcore business users."

"Obviously, with the wireless market exploding there are a lot of application providers, but a lot of other companies are floating in between targets," Dorey said. "We don't like to think of ourselves as having competition."

When Dorey said the demand for wireless is exploding, the demand is more of the "latent" variety, according to Forrester Research Inc. That is, people want wireless Web; they just don't realize it fully yet.

"Consumers don't think they want the wireless Web yet, but they will. They have adopted an Internet lifestyle, and the wireless Web will simply be the next step," said Patrick Callinan, analyst at Forrester Research.

"Also, the market will succeed as competition undermines prices for voice minutes -- forcing operators to roll out wireless data. Furthermore, the mad adoption of wireless technology in Japan and Europe provide North American developers with confidence that their turn is just around the corner."

Dorey said Planet Intra plans to continue to evolve with wireless technology. Currently, Dorey said those with a WAP-enabled phone can call up Planet Intra's wireless intranet within 15 minutes.

"We are limited from a character-count point of view," he said. "But we will see companies develop more storage space. Besides using phones to look at calendars contacts, this will be integrated with devices that create a full document."

To accommodate the globalization of intranets, Planet Intra is available in numerous languages. Current language offerings include: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Japanese and Korean.

The firm will either detect the language of the user's browser or users can manually select a language from a list of icons.