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Handango, Software Spectrum Prepare to Serve Enterprise

A porous economy hasn't stopped many wireless solution providers from going forward with key technology partnerships, and while consumer confidence may have taken a gut-punch many firms are setting themselves up to serve the enterprise sector.

Dallas-based Software maker Handango and service provider Software Spectrum Inc. proved as much Wednesday when they agreed to offer their combined handheld software, devices and wireless services to major firms. Their target is the enterprise, which will make up the majority of the 39 million handheld units shipped by 2005, according to new research by Aberdeen Group. This constitutes a $6.6 billion market.

The firms hope the combination of Handango's handheld expertise with Dallas-based Software Spectrum's software licensing skills will offer prospective business clients the total package where mobile computing and Internet access are concerned -- a solution that incorporates devices, applications, wireless services and accessories.

Specifically, more than 12,000 applications, including Handango software suites, are available for the major handheld platforms including Palm OS, Pocket PC and RIM devices.

Both firms stressed the idea of an expanding market in the mobile enterprise in public statements. Some analysts agree.

"Although PDAs have enjoyed great success in the consumer market to date, enterprise purchases will be the chief driver of growth moving forward," said Aberdeen analyst Isaac Ro, who authored a report about the state of the mobile handheld sector going forward.

Given analysts' enthusiasm about the future of the wireless enterprise, it's no surprise that the firms who have the means are lining up to forge alliances. In fact, Handango's and Software Spectrum's pact is the second such in as many weeks. On Sept. 26, No. 2 handheld maker Handspring teamed with wireless software integration provider Aether Systems in a similar play.

With that agreement, Aether and Handspring will deliver enterprise solutions based on Aether Fusion, a technology foundation designed to adapt business applications wirelessly to handheld devices through a combination of components, hosting services, synchronization, device management and Aether's Intelligent Messaging (AIM) data transport layer.