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Good Moves From Outlook to Apps

SAN FRANCISCO -- Good Technology released a new enterprise platform for extending enterprise applications to mobile devices.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Good, which provides GoodLink mobile access to Microsoft Outlook to some 4000 corporations, launched GoodAccess. The company took the wraps off its new software with a cohort of hardware and software partners at a press briefing here Monday.

"If 2004 was the year for mobile access to Outlook, 2005 is the year of access to applications that corporations rely on," said Good CEO Danny Shader.

Shader said that because Good uses open standards based on Web services , it's compatible with a wide range of devices and applications.

"Industry standards gives us the ability to give folks the applications they need over the handhelds they want and the networks they prefer," Shader said. Good software supports the Windows, Palm and Symbian operating systems.

Part of Monday's announcement was support for Symbol Technologies new MC50 Wi-Fi Pocket PC Enterprise Digital Assistant. The MC50 includes barcode scanning and 2D image capture or one mega-pixel color camera, as well as Voice Over IP . The device is designed for retail and warehouse operations. Symbol's MC9000 with integral RFID also supports GoodAccess.

"The MC50 is an extension of our mobile product line-up that moves us from the concrete to carpet," said Chuck Dourlet, Symbol vice president of mobile computing.

GoodAccess can be customized using a tool with a graphical, drag-and-drop interface, courtesy of third-party software developer Above All Software. Above All Studio connects to corporate backend systems through Web services, ODBC and software APIs . The tool can be used to combine data from different enterprise applications including those from Oracle , salesforce.com and Siebel Systems , as well as custom applications.

Cindy Costs, director of client services support for Visa USA, said she had easily deployed wireless applications for her team using Above All Studio. Visa will upgrade sales staff to the Palm-based Treo 650 and provide access to Visa intranet sites via GoodAccess.

"To have someone who's not the head of IT deploying your system, that's a powerful statement," said Brian Modoff, managing director of Deutsche Bank Securities. Modoff said he had no financial interest in Good.

While Oracle, Siebel and salesforce.com already offer mobile versions of their software products,

"This is a partner-based solution that provides different capabilities than we have," said Ken Rudin, vice president and general manager for Siebel CRM OnDemand. "One of their main focuses is that they give you access to multiple applications simultaneously."

Good's Shader said Microsoft is more of a partner than a competitor to his company. But while Good's offerings may be quite different in three or five years, he added, Microsoft is far behind Good or competitor Research in Motion (RIM) .

"Microsoft makes a platform, and they'll build applications on top of it and subsume more applications in it," Shader said. "We think we can always add value on top of what they do."

Shader reiterated Good's standards pitch as the differentiator between his company and RIM, and Deutsche's Modoff concurred.

"The process of bringing an application onto RIM is a very challenging exercise," Modoff said. "The interfaces are proprietary and not easy to write applications into."

GoodAccess acts as the bridge between expensive enterprise applications that may not be easily integrated otherwise, said Ajay Patel, vice president of server technology for Oracle.

"Oracle has a common customer base with other enterprise applications," said Ajay Patel, vice president of server technology for Oracle, "but in reality, most applications are not Web services ready. This is a means to clear up the mess and deliver rich content at the process level for corporate applications."