Mobile communications giant Nokia has stepped up its push into the enterprise by releasing its Intellisync integration software locally, with plans to better integrate with VoIP infrastructure.
While specialist players like BlackBerry and Good have targeted enterprise e-mail and groupware, Nokia is hedging its bets on offering a phone which can interoperate with any back-end system and still remain manageable.
General manager of Nokia's enterprise solutions, Vaughn Madeley, said the availability of Intellisync will allow local enterprises to integrate many types of back-end applications, including those developed in-house, and make them available in the field.
"With Intellisync we can provide an enterprise with push e-mail, [but] the IT managers' issues were about how to manage these devices and operating systems which Intellisync allows them to do," Vaughn said, adding the software also allows devices to be erased over the air. "The next question was about being able to take back-office CRM systems and bringing them out on the road to devices."
Vaughn said part of Nokia's Intellisync acquisition was to allow for application extendibility.
Nokia's new E series "business optimized" devices ship with the client software pre-installed and the Intellisync server is purchased separately.
"IT managers say 'that's great, but I want to consolidate devices from a management perspective' and that's why we brought out the E series which are 3G and wireless," Vaughn said. "As a dual-mode device, if you are running a VoIP environment at the end of this year you will be able to get a client that will allow you to step from a GSM to VoIP by switching manually and seamlessly, in the future."
Nokia has also released the Nokia E50, which aims to bridge the gap between and personal and business phone. The E60 comes with the business connectivity options pre-installed, can integrate with existing PABXs, Microsoft Office file viewers, and a full Web browser based on the open source KHTML project.
Enterprises using Avaya's Communication Manager can connect the Nokia E50 directly to their phone networks, using Avaya's one-X Mobile Edition client. The Cisco SIP client is scheduled for 2007.
Managing director of telecommunications research firm Telsyte, Warren Chaisatien said businesses need to be prudent with how they approach mobile applications.
"Now that companies have deployed mobility solutions [other] than just e-mail and voice communications to things like CRM and workforce automation, they need to understand their business processes to identify where mobility fits," Chaisatien said. "Not every organization or department can immediately benefit from mobility solutions."