Psion to Provide Pervasive Computing Solution for Mobile Workers

Psion to use IBM technology to deliver mission-critical applications into the hands of enterprise

5th July 1999 - Psion Enterprise Computing, a leading manufacturer of mobile computing products and a division of Psion PLC, today announced that together with IBM it intends to incorporate and support IBM hardware and software for its new range of enterprise products due to start shipping in October this year.

Psion Enterprise Computing plans to become the first mobile device manufacturer to provide its customers with a new version of IBM's MQSeries that is being developed for embedded devices. MQSeries is the world's best-selling enterprise messaging software from IBM. Having a version of it on a device will allow mobile applications to exchange data with back-office systems, helping to ensure that data transactions between the Psion device and the server are made with security and reliability.

In addition, Psion also plans support for IBM's new DB2 Everywhere database application in its new generation of products. This will enable Psion users to synchronise their mobile data with business-critical information that resides on enterprise servers. Psion and IBM also intend to work together to enable the new netBook product to support IBM's 340 megabyte (MB) microdrive, the world's smallest hard disk drive.

"Companies have invested significantly to web-enable their businesses where the PC is currently the primary access media. Extending access to a new generation of intelligent handheld devices is where companies will want to go next. By offering IBM hardware and software on our new range of mobile enterprise computing products, we will provide a delivery mechanism for extending the reach of their core computing functions to their mobile workforces and customers" said Claes Bergstedt, commercial director for Psion Enterprise Computing.

"IBM is developing a range of embedded hardware and software for device manufacturers that will allow them to run enterprise and web applications on handheld devices," said Mark Bregman, general manager of IBM's Pervasive Computing Division. "Psion's strength in providing innovative wireless, mobile computers to the professional and industrial sectors along with its adoption of IBM technology will mean that this functionality can be extended to enterprise customers."

The new range of devices from Psion will include ruggedised tablet products and netBook, a keyboard based product. The range will feature colour screens and incorporate Symbian's EPOC operating system with 100% Java technology.

If tomorrow's hand-held information devices are to become serious business tools, they need a trusted means to access and communicate with a variety of server-based applications, which will allow them to access and use corporate data virtually anytime and anywhere.

Support for IBM's MQSeries messaging software will provide the new Java-enabled Psion product range with a direct communications link to MQ-enabled back-office resources, enabling users to access and process business-critical applications - such as customer and transactional databases - whilst they are on the move. For companies with mobile workforces, the new version of MQSeries being designed for embedded devices will provide the necessary infrastructure to build new remote computing applications.

Future support for IBM's DB2 Everywhere will further extend the capabilities of the Psion devices in the enterprise sector. IBM's DB2 Everywhere is being designed specifically for mobile workers to access corporate data and applications. With the power of the enterprise at their fingertips, workers in industries such as insurance, healthcare, and transportation can act on the information they need to perform their work from virtually any location and at virtually anytime, making their work more productive.

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