IBM and AT&T today announced they plan to provide wireless access to key corporate information, including the Internet, intranets, and corporate databases. IBM will combine its software and services with AT&T's wireless IP (Internet Protocol) network to provide "real time" access to business data and applications.
The new services delivered by IBM and AT&T will save businesses both time and money and improve customer service by allowing them to give employees and customers access to data and applications, virtually anytime, anywhere. For example, with real-time access to traditional business applications, mobile workers will be able to use their wireless devices to input sales orders directly into corporate databases on the spot or even interact directly with internal business travel systems to make or change their own travel plans.
The primary focus of the IBM/AT&T relationship will be to provide wireless access to corporate applications using existing Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) network technology as well as future "Third Generation" wireless devices and networks, the companies said. Third Generation is a term used to describe wireless broadband data services and global roaming capabilities for wireless phones and other devices. The Third Generation network being developed by AT&T will be based on the combined TDMA/GSM global standard known as EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution).
"AT&T's CDPD network currently provides packet-based data services to customers with the benefit of flat-rate, all-you-can-use pricing that is unparalleled today," said Tom Trinneer, Vice President, Data Product Development, AT&T Wireless Services. "With increasing numbers of businesses demanding new wireless solutions, the CDPD and EDGE networks will provide an ideal platform for AT&T and IBM to develop secure, efficient and cost-effective wireless data applications for corporations."
By bringing together IBM's business software products, such as database, messaging and device management, with AT&T's wireless IP network, customers will be able to conduct transactions and send and receive data using wireless devices. IBM's new transcoding technology will enable corporate data to be translated into the appropriate formats for a wide variety of devices, including wireless phones, PDAs, and laptop computers. The specific wireless services customers will be able to use these devices for include email, personal scheduling, contact information, and access to other business applications.
"E-business is going mobile. Over the next five years, more than 80 percent of new corporate applications will be designed for non-PC devices, such as wireless phones," said Gary Cohen, General Manager, IBM Global Telecommunications Industry.
"The collaboration between AT&T and IBM will provide the expertise and technology to meet the demanding needs of an enterprise for wireless access to mission critical information," said Cohen. "With always-on data access, we will meet another key need of our customers."
IBM also plans to join the AT&T Developer Program at the Premier level. Through the program, AT&T and IBM will work closely during the development, testing, and implementation of wireless data solutions for businesses.
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