Niche integrator Mulder Communications has announced a deal with Dutch software vendor Fenestrae to push an integrated fax, SMS, MMS and email server to large Australian customers.
Scott Porter, CEO of Sydney-based Mulders, said he thought that Fenestrae's integrated fax, SMS, MMS and email server was unique in its all-in-one capability. The product worked with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 to improve that software's mobility capability.
'There are multiple competitors, but I don't think there is any other product which has grouped them all together. You don't have to buy three different products, and it comes with connections into SAP, Oracle or SQL [databases],' he said.
Porter said about 90 percent of Mulders' existing clientele had taken on Fenestrae Communication Server and Fenestrae Mobility Server, and the rest of the company's customers were tipped to soon follow.
'From a sales and marketing perspective, we have got a bit more proactive, because there's more opportunity for mobile workers and that is continuing to grow with wireless hotspots, et cetera, there's a lot of interest in it,' he said. The software operates with PDAs, notebooks, mobile phones or basically any other mobile device, he added.
However, Porter said central to the product's appeal was not its ability to carry out massive, low-cost marketing campaigns by email, SMS or MMS but to lift worker productivity.
Large companies with staff that required visual media to do their job properly would gain most, he said.
For instance, one large insurance company was using Fenestrae to lower costs and comply with legal requirements. The company was legally required to regularly sight documents with hand-written signatures -- meaning that thousands of faxes would be processed each week, he said.
Many of the faxes contained confidential details -- such as tax file numbers -- which the company needed to sight but for privacy reasons was not allowed to record. 'Managing the process is just horrendous,' Porter said.
He said installing the Fenestrae software enabled the tax file number to be quickly and simply removed and transmit fax contents to other staff or companies that needed certain details without violating legal requirements. In the past, the process would have been carried out by hand.
'And you can go into the database and use a document management system that emails details and melts the faxes together,' Porter said. He was unsure how secure the details would be, but said he believed it was as secure as internet communications. Recipients could only read SMS/MMS messages sent via the Fenestrae servers from a specific mobile phone. If they lost their mobile phone, the PIN number was not sufficient to retrieve the messages, he said.
Les Mulder, technical director at Mulders, said New Zealand's Rodney District Council was using Fenestrae to communicate with its dog inspectors. 'In the past, inspectors carried a print out of the dog register, containing information about every dog, in the district.
They then tried giving inspectors a portable computer with a mobile phone that could connect to the corporate database, but that was too cumbersome,' Mulder said. 'Now when inspectors find a dog, they use their mobile phone to send an SMS message with the dog's tag number to the system.' Fenestrae's mobile server queried the Council ERP system and returned live information, such as the owner's contact details, by SMS, Mulder said.
Porter said Australia was 'about two years behind' countries such as Japan where m-commerce was proliferating. However, he believed Australia would catch up in its adoption of MMS and SMS in the enterprise. Thirteen-year-old Mulder Communications has offices in Greenwich in NSW, Melbourne and Sydney.