Sybase iAnywhere offers lifeline to Nokia Intellisync users

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Sybase iAnywhere offers lifeline to Nokia Intellisync users

Sybase iAnywhere is offering to support mobile business customers left in the lurch by Nokia's decision to focus on consumers.

The enterprise mobility specialist has unveiled a Nokia Intellisync Migration Programme, under which such companies can obtain selected tools from its Information Anywhere Suite for free.

Nokia announced on 30 September that it would cease developing or marketing its behind-the-firewall offerings for business mobility, and instead concentrate on consumer mobile messaging services.

Sybase iAnywhere, however, said that enterprise mobility is its main area of focus, and that it hopes to gain new business from Nokia customers seeking continued support.

The company expects that there are enterprise customers "in the hundreds" who are still using Nokia Intellisync products, plus a somewhat larger number of smaller firms.

"Our offer is that for Nokia customers looking for another vendor, we will offer the equivalent product, or as close as we can get, free of licensing charges," said Rob Veitch, senior director of business development at Sybase iAnywhere.

Companies taking up this offer will have to pay the ongoing costs of support and maintenance, but will already be paying for this for the Nokia Intellisync products they are using. "From a finance point of view, it should be a seamless transition," Veitch said.

How easy this will be for customers will depend on the technology they are using. Organisations using Intellisync for mobile access to Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange Email should have little difficulty making the switch, according to Veitch, although it may require some installation work from a systems integrator.

The same applies for device management and security, according to Veitch. " These tend to be transparent to users, so only the IT department needs to worry about deployment," he said.

Mobile applications built on Intellisync's platform, such as salesforce automation or field service support, could prove more problematic and would likely involve starting again from the ground up.

"In this situation, instead of moving the application over, we'll look at conversations along the line of refreshing the features and technology," said Veitch, who claimed that enterprise mobility has moved on since many Intellisync customers deployed their applications.

As an example, Veitch said that Sybase iAnywhere expects to soon have a capability it calls the "inbox for the future". This will allow mobile executives to sign off items needing approval direct from their mobile inbox, rather than having to open a browser window and follow a web link.

"There's a great deal of interest in letting users extend the approvals process so it can be embedded in an email," he said.

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