Mobilizing the enterprise
Extended Systems, iAnywhere, and Intellisync keep users connected to the enterprise
Although M-Business Anywhere 5.5 doesn’t match other solutions in terms of systems management, it should help reduce costs. Built-in reports show synchronization times and frequency, thereby helping IT staff optimize the type of data delivered. And this version collects device information, which is useful for asset management.
With Intellisync’s Mobile Suite, mobile and remote users can access enterprise apps, e-mail and PIM data, and file and Web content. In addition, Mobile Suite allows IT staff to manage mobile devices remotely. To use this solution, you install the core gateway software plus any of the four main plug-in modules: Email Accelerator, Data Sync, File Sync, or Systems Management. Enterprises in need of synchronized server data should install all four.
Deploying my test environment was quick and easy. The well-designed administration console allowed me to manage user profiles, configure clients, install software, and perform handheld backups and restores. I was able to synchronize users and groups easily with a Windows NT domain; LDAP sources, such as ActivePlanet, are also supported. Users can easily install the very small client software from an intranet link.
Systems Management automatically collects detailed asset information, which should enable IT to minimize users’ downtime. Device backup is especially handy if you need to restore damaged equipment. Furthermore, a graphical editor and built-in install actions streamline custom-software distribution.
Email Accelerator worked flawlessly. On the administration end, I had no trouble specifying authentication rules and other customization features for each user. Synchronizing Exchange messages and PIM data to my Treo 600 happened with one-button simplicity and was very fast.
I also liked the range of e-mail viewing and synchronization options available. For instance, I could preview headers and download only the messages I wanted.
Intellisync Data Sync provides the link to enterprise databases or database apps running on the handheld. IT departments will still need to code forms and other parts of the application, but Intellisync makes the job easier. The graphical rules builder and field mapping tools allowed me to sync an Oracle back-end database with SQL CE on a Pocket PC in just a few hours. Furthermore, Intellisync performs all the complex data management, such as resolving conflicts if several users attempt to access a database simultaneously. The only omission was a lack of out-of-the-box support for ERP and CRM systems.
Intellisync also provides a model way to manage and personalize electronic document distribution. File Sync’s GUI wizard allowed me to define user groups to receive certain types of files residing on my LAN server. On the server side, Intellisync notices when files have changed and prepackages them for upcoming synchronization sessions.
All three solutions prove that enterprises can create a secure, managed mobile infrastructure. Intellisync’s integrated modules, extensive device support, and overall usability give it an advantage. OneBridge offers first-rate device management along with multiple ways for developers to deliver enterprise data. Users of the AvantGo mobile Internet service will appreciate M-Business Anywhere’s scalability and elegant Web model.