Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq:PALM), in conjunction with developers and channel partners, today announced a Windows NT server-based solution for large businesses to incorporate handheld computers into mainstream information management systems. After concluding a successful beta program, Palm is now shipping the Palm HotSync(R) Server and a Microsoft Exchange Conduit, offering IT easy, secure and cost-effective handheld management and synchronization of Palm OS(R) handheld computers with enterprise groupware and line-of-business applications. Palm expects to add support for Windows CE-based handhelds later this year.
The Palm HotSync Server, based on Aether Software's ScoutWare technology, offers IT an architecture for three key functions: management of handheld computers and applications, synchronization with enterprise groupware and critical business information systems, and a development interface for new solutions targeted to handhelds.
Console-based management services include centralized backup and restore, application deployment, standard builds, configuration and usage tracking. The Microsoft Exchange Conduit, developed by Chapura, Inc., provides integration of Exchange email and calendar with the familiar DateBook and Mail applications of the Palm OS handheld.
For application developers, Palm HotSync Server offers a fully-documented Application Programming Interface based on the Microsoft COM standard for creating custom Conduits. These plug-in Conduits are used to add handheld synchronization services to virtually any enterprise application or data source. Familiar development tools such as Visual Basic, C++ and Java are supported.
Handheld users connect to the HotSync Server via wireline or wireless modem, or through the standard desktop-cradle HotSync function. Users gain access to a wider range of multi-user applications and greater IT support.
In a related announcement made today, enterprise infrastructure solution provider CompuCom formally launched their systems integration offering for handhelds, providing configuration and customization services for the HotSync Server. Additionally, Synchrologic, Inc. announced today that their iMobile Data Synchronization product has been enhanced to support the Palm HotSync Server, adding advanced business logic capabilities to the development of handheld synchronization services for complex enterprise databases.
Peoplesoft, a member of Palm's Strategic Alliance program, confirmed support of the Palm HotSync Server in upcoming versions of its enterprise software solutions.
"Palm HotSync Server is an important component of our overall solution for enterprise computing," said Chuck Yort, vice president, business and government for Palm, Inc. "Companies need to be able to provide access to line-of-business data wherever their employees find themselves -- at the point of sale, during data acquisition or in the field. Palm HotSync Server's customizable and extendable deployment solution has proven reliable through extensive beta testing. In conjunction with solutions from our software-alliance members, HotSync Server provides IT with a solid base for handheld deployment and management."
"Palm HotSync Server allowed us to provide our mobile workforce with instant two-way access to critical networked information from out in the field," said Jason Menear, network and system manager for VertexRSI. "Palm HotSync Server software was quick to install and configure. We set up dial-in synchronization for Microsoft Exchange, and it worked flawlessly. Our people are constantly out in the field, and now all they need for remote access to email and calendars is their Palm handheld."
"Corporations are rapidly integrating Palm handhelds into their IT strategies in order to support mobile enterprise applications," said Christopher Fletcher, managing director of Enterprise Business Applications at Aberdeen Group. "This announcement is a significant step forward in Palm's ability to enable front-door deployment of handheld computers throughout enterprises and enables Palm handhelds to be managed just like any other device on the network."
Palm provides product support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by both phone and email. Support includes technical assistance and maintenance version software updates for the Palm HotSync Server and any Conduits provided by Palm for one year from the date of purchase. At the end of that year, support is renewed for a fee on an annual basis.
The Palm HotSync Server and Microsoft Exchange Conduit are available immediately from selected Palm resellers. Pricing for the HotSync Server is user-based and begins at an estimated street price of $2,400 for up to five users. Microsoft Conduit pricing begins at an estimated street price of $330 for up to five users. For more information, please visit www.palm.com/enterprise/server.html.
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