Powerlan ushers in Centura

Powerlan ushers in Centura

Vendor, channel partnership takes a punt on the success of high-bandwidth wireless Network integrator Powerlan is out to make its mark on the edge of the network after forging an exclusive reseller agreement with mobile computing platform developer Centura Software.

Under the terms of the agreement, Powerlan will integrate Centura's eSNAPP 2.0 wireless access software into enterprises across the Asia-Pacific region.

Centura provides software that enables mobile devices including PDAs, notebooks and WAP phones to access a company's network via a range of wireless connections, such as existing IEEE 802.11 standards and the emerging 3G spectrum. Once the initial access to the network is made, a mobile employee can also access a company's core applications - a productivity advantage Centura claims has not been previously available.

On the other hand, Powerlan brings a history of ERP, database and backend integration experience to the table claims Steve Bowtell, sales director of Powerlan. Bowtell claims the company will be wrapping the Centura software with a host of services including mobile application development.

The alliance comes after months of due diligence from both companies and John Armenakas, managing director of Centura Software Asia Pacific, claims the vendor will be able to leverage Powerlan's regional presence.

"This isn't just a strategic alliance for the sake of a strategic alliance," asserts Armenakas. "Make no mistake, the regional perspective is important."

Centura toyed with the idea of selecting one of the big five consulting companies, including KPMG or Andersen Consulting, as its preferred partner before siding with the integrator. While Centura has not ruled out the possibility of adding to its partner list, it will concentrate on the Powerlan initiative before making any announcements, claims Armenakas.

"The last thing I want is to go out and make similar agreements with 30-plus systems integrators," said Armenakas. "Powerlan fits our footprint in the Asia-Pacific."

As part of the agreement, Powerlan will also have access to beta versions of Centura's mobile computing platform and contribute to the vendor's R&D.

With Powerlan backing Centura's software and Centura backing Powerlan's services ability, both companies are banking on wireless bandwidth to increase and become more cost-justifiable for the enterprise space.

The alliance will initially target Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand - with these countries closer to high bandwidth wireless networks - before extending its reach throughout the region. To do this, Powerlan will invest in additional staff to service areas it currently does not have a presence in, confirmed Bowtell.

Armenakas also revealed the vendor is looking to partner with a regional telco to provide the wireless infrastructure on which the Centura/Powerlan solution can travel.

"Any serious plan for mobilising enterprise business information systems has to include the delivery infrastructure, the carrier infrastructure and a complete systems integration infrastructure," claims Armenakas.

The agreement between Powerlan and Centura marks an early move for large-scale, channel/vendor partnerships based on wireless solutions. As a result, Powerlan has flagged plans to establish a specific mobile division within its Business Solutions unit.

The agreement was penned last week via a videoconference link between Centura's CEO Scott Broomfield in Silicon Valley and Powerlan CEO Theo Baker in Sydney.

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