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Orative Calls For Mobile Productivity

Mobile phones and voicemail have changed the way business users communicate, but Orative says there's room for improvement.

The San Jose, Calif., startup today introduced an enterprise software product that allows users to gauge the importance of incoming calls by displaying details, such as name, urgency and subject matter.

It also delivers calendar reminders, conference notifications and call requests to a user's phone. A presence-aware phonebook makes it possible to determine if somebody is available before a call is placed.

"Orative was formed to deal with today's problems," said John Drewry, Orative's vice president of marketing, who noted that business users and their colleagues are increasingly on the move.

Orative's offering consists of two components. An enterprise server sits behind the corporate firewall and integrates with e -mail and groupware platforms, such as Microsoft Exchange and corporate directories and calendars.

And handset software is designed to run on standard phones running on operating systems, including Symbian. Updates to data can be automatically made throughout the system over the air, limiting the amount of time IT staffers spend on updates.

Server licensing starts at $4,999 per processor, plus $2,495 for a client access license starter pack supporting 25 users.

Orative is talking with mobile carriers about offering the software to enterprise customers, although no deals have been announced yet.

The company was formed in December 2002 by industry veterans from 3Com , Motorola , Nextel and elsewhere.

The firm, which has about 30 employees, has raised $18 million in financing from Mayfield, Trinity Ventures and Diamondhead Ventures.

Drewry said there was strong interest in the company's second round of financing last year and that it does not need to go out for more money this year to support its growth plan.

Bob Egan, president of Mobile Competency Group, said Orative's offering will appeal to more than just regular business travelers.

"Business is done between people, not voicemail systems," Egan said in a statement. "As the heartbeat of business continues to accelerate, so does the underlying costs of not being able, or even knowing how or when, to reach someone the first time."