RealTime IT News

Cingular to Sell Good

Cingular Wireless inked a deal to sell Good Technology's wireless e-mail and calendar product directly to business customers, the companies said.

The wireless giant will offer Good's wireless e-mail and data software as part of its enterprise offerings, with the telco's 1700-person business-to-business salesforce doing the heavy lifting in getting GoodLink in front of customers.

"This agreement provides the ability for customers to have a single bill and a single location [for subscribing]," said Sue Forbes, Good vice president of marketing. "It also allows for flexibility in the types of devices and management and control mechanisms."

GoodLink provides secure e-mail and calendaring functions on Palm OS or Windows Mobile devices. The product includes over-the-air synchronization of Microsoft Outlook, end-to-end AES data encryption, remote management and secure administration and provisioning.

Cingular will offer GoodLink as an option on the palmOne Treo 650, using the EDGE wireless data network, as well as the Siemens SX66 Pocket PC.

The partnership is Good's first. The company also sells GoodLink directly, but the deal will let customers shop for devices, data packages and software from Cingular.

"Now, we're not exposed to all the deals that are out there," Forbes said. "The carrier is customers' location of choice. This will vastly increase our distribution."

Cingular, a joint venture between SBC Communications and BellSouth , operates the largest digital voice and data network in the United States.

Enterprises will also get a price break. Cingular is offering GoodLink for a monthly fee of $44.99 per month for unlimited data with a qualified voice plan. Customers must purchase a $1,500 one-year Starter Pak, with no limitation on the number of users, and a one-time $99 per user GoodLink Client Access license. The Starter Pak includes one year of support from Good and ongoing support from Cingular.

"This is a very different sales model for us," Forbes said. "It's similar to the Research in Motion model, but we don't charge for the server." She said that the Cingular package would be cheaper than similar services from Research in Motion (RIM), another purveyor of wireless e-mail services.

RIM and Good have been locked in a blood feud for years, as Good attempted to muscle into the market for push e-mail that RIM had opened up. In May 2002, Good dragged RIM into court in an attempt to invalidate some of the latter's patents. In July of that year, RIM sued Good for patent infringement. After ugly charges of stealing trade secrets, unfair competition and breach of good faith, the two companies settled in March 2004, with Good agreeing to pay an undisclosed amount plus quarterly royalties to RIM.

Good's strategy has been to forge partnerships with market leaders. In February, it joined with HP to offer GoodLink on future iPAQ releases. The deal followed a November 2004 agreement to add GoodLink to Nokia's Communicator line.