Saturday, April 20, 2024

A More Pervasive Alliance for IBM, Symbol

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By Sean Michael Kerner

IBM and wireless scanner device company Symbol Technologies are rolling out a line of services and products involving newly integrated and security-enhanced hand-held wireless and scanning devices for enterprise customers.

The latest joint offering, which pools their respective software, services and hardware in the pervasive mobile computing sector, is an extension of the companies’ 15-year working relationship.

The two companies are initially focused on retail distribution deployments, such as helping retailers track inventory and public sector clients streamline their field

But in this offering, the companies are touting expertise with back-end integration of data sources and security enhancements as key differentiators.

“The businesses of corporate America both the large and the small
enterprises are taking advantage of the new wireless technologies,”
Towney Kennard, vice president of IBM’s Global Services Strategic Alliances, told “What they are crying out for, is being able to do it seamlessly, not lose data and having it be secure. That’s the hard part.”

The new agreement is built on IBM’s recently announced middleware
for its WebSphere Everyplace lines, including its
DB2 Everyplace database that provides enterprise-level queries for devices, but at a fraction of the usual processing capacity needed for industry-standard SQL applications.

In addition to accessing information from databases such as IBM’s DB2 lines, Symbol said “ruggedized” wireless mobile computers running IBM’s WebSphere Micro Edition, and IBM’s Java Powered device infrastructure for extending e-business applications to pervasive devices, would use the messaging capabilities of MQ Everyplace in order to enable users access to Siebel, SAP, JD Edwards or PeopleSoft applications.

At the same time, the Holtsville, N.Y.-based Symbol said it plans to integrate devices
with embedded IBM mobile middleware so workers will be able to use
their handhelds to rapidly access data from back-end computer systems running on IBM eServer x-Series servers for the enterprise.

On the security front, IBM and Symbol said the newest version of IBM’s WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager would enable
mobile workers to access enterprise data benefiting from a mobile virtual private network capable of roaming across multiple networks such as Symbol’s own wireless local area networks, iDEN , CDMA , GSM , and Wi-Fi hot spots . The idea is to do wo without interrupting Web connections or losing an existing session.

Kennard said offerings are based on the specific business requirements of customers and their operating environment.

The deal also falls under the heading of IBM’s on-demand initiatives of enabling customers to essentially order up only as much IT resources as they need, a service designed to help hold down IT budgets while adding some flexibility to IT budgets.

“What our intent here is that we will integrate these joint solutions into our industry verticals’ on-demand plays,” IBM’s Kennard said.

The IBM/Symbol solution will be offered through the IBM business
services group, IBM’s direct field force, Symbol’s sales force and
other IBM/Symbol business partners. They plan to focus on customers that work with handheld computers, bar code scanners and imagers and wireless and mobile point-of-sale solutions.

“The competitive differentiator is the upfront integration work that IBM/Symbol does ahead of time,” IBM’s Kennard said.

“When you do business with IBM/Symbol you can have the comfort to know that it’s been tested, that it’s secure, that it’s been integrated, and that we’ve got skilled people on both teams dedicated to making it work.”

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