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Cape Clear Has Its Eyes on the Airwaves

Cashing in on Europe's craze for all things wireless, Cape Clear Software Tuesday came out with the latest version of its software catering to mobile phone operators.

So it should come as no surprise the company would tout a customer with big-time clout in the European telecom community: British Telecommunications, the largest telco on that continent.

The Dublin, Ireland, software developer has been providing Web services applications in Europe and the States since 2001, when it first launched a tool supporting WSDL for the Java and .Net platforms.

Version 4.5, which features new functionality to increase the interaction between back-office telephone company departments, goes into an area many companies overseas are looking to capitalize on - data services.

"If you go anywhere in Europe you will find kids text-messaging each other, and in the U.S. you have things like video phones," said John Maughan, Cape Clear director of engineering. "With all these capabilities, telephony companies are looking to integrate with the content providers for additional services and therefore drive more revenue to the provider."

According to Yankee Group, data services like ring tone and SMS messaging will make up one-third of mobile communications profits for telecom companies by 2006, while another one-third will come from third-party add-ons like entertainment and information services.

"The ability to expose these services externally to your customers and suppliers from the perspective of a telecom provider is something that can increase revenue and customer satisfaction, while decreasing the cost of integration," he said.

While many companies in the U.S. and abroad have spent millions, sometimes billions, on back-office integration software to mesh the different corporate divisions together, not much emphasis has been placed on industry-specific solutions to bring value to the services provided by those companies externally.

With Cape Clear's software, support for text-messaging technologies MMS and SMS is handled by treating the two as a similar attachment types on 2.5G and 3G digital phone networks. Also embedded in the XML-based Web services software is customizable support for other types of mobile phone filetypes, like client-ID tags and video content, to link between different IT systems.

Other features of Cape Clear's software include: asynchronous processing, notification services, event management and support for the PARLAY-X telecommunications standard.

"There's no question that companies in the telecommunications sector, like BT, have rapidly adopted Web Services and are already realizing business benefit from the cleaner integration it provides," said Jon Calladine, BT Exact Web Services integration manager, in a statement Tuesday.

The software runs on the three most popular server platforms -- Solaris, Windows and Linux -- and starts at $5,000, depending on the deployment scope.