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Sun Tabs Aligo for Sun ONE Products

Sun Microsystems Wednesday tabbed Aligo, which makes software to power mobile applications, to provide mobile infrastructure software for upcoming Sun ONE products.

Sun plans to add Aligo's M-1 Mobile Application Server technology to make Sun ONE's products better for its customers, who will be able to access applications, data and content from any mobile device and on any network. Aligo said the deal spans three years and is worth a few million dollars through a combination of initial and recurring payments.

Most popular in Japan, where wireless systems are more developed than in the U.S., San Francisco-based Aligo's M-1 Mobile Application Server is a mobile business platform geared to provide cost savings and good return on investment for customers.

In their current incarnations, Sun ONE software products allow service providers or enterprises to access data, such as sales force automation and enterprise resource planning (ERP), from different back-end systems using Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE).

With Aligo's application server, Sun feels applications such as mobile field service, field sales and groupware will be easier and faster in the making. This is crucial for a major systems vendor like Sun, who is banking on its platform amid competing initiatives, such as IBM's on-demand computing strategy.

Aligo's infrastructure supports most types of mobile gadgets, including Internet-enabled mobile phones, Palm and Pocket PC devices, RIM Blackberry devices and laptops.

Because Sun is relying on its Sun ONE strategy to garner market share in a competitive environment, it said it carefully chose Aligo from among 40 vendors to give it what it thought would be the best chance to succeed.

"Aligo's dynamic rendering capability enables rapid development and deployment of mobile applications and provides an excellent complement to Sun ONE solutions," said John Fanelli, director of business management and product marketing for Sun Microsystems.

Robert Smith, president and CEO of Aligo, said he expects Sun ONE products will create a solid base of customers for his firm's field service, field sales, and mobile groupware applications as well as its applications.

With this technology licensing agreement, for which financial terms were not disclosed, Sun ONE software featuring Aligo technology will be released in 2003.