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Exchange out-of-the-box

Tue Oct 5, 2004 - 8:07 AM EDT - By Marcus Adolfsson

This morning palmOne announced a licensing agreement with Microsoft for their Exchange Server synchronization protocol for integration with its future Treo smartphones. It allows palmOne customers the ability to get "out-of-the-box" compatibility with Exchange Server 2003 data, including wireless email and calendar. palmOne is the first non-Microsoft licensee of this protocol.

palmOne intends to use the technology to extend the company's device support for Microsoft Exchange Server by adding capability for wireless server-based synchronization.

The relationship between palmOne and Microsoft underscores the market demand to make deploying mobile email access easier for companies of all sizes. Many mobile email solutions require a third-party server to be installed to act as a conduit between an email server and a mobile device. By integrating the Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol into its devices, palmOne eliminates the need for a third-party server and provides customers with a solution for secure, wireless email that is cost-effective and can be deployed quickly and easily. End-users will benefit by having out-of-the-box capability to link to Exchange Server 2003 data, including email and calendar information, using palmOne's easy-to-use VersaMail client.

"palmOne has built its brand on making complex technologies easy to use, and having wireless synchronization to Exchange 2003 available out-of-the-box will enhance our smartphone customers' experience while slashing company IT costs," said Ed Colligan, president, palmOne. "Key to offering the premier mobile-email-access device is our open-platform approach, resulting in a full spectrum of choices for individuals to CIOs at the largest enterprises."

"The combination of the Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol and mobile solutions from palmOne provides customers with a direct means of extending wireless access to corporate email from their palmOne devices in the field," said Dave Thompson, vice president of Exchange Server at Microsoft. "We believe that the combination of Treo smartphones and Exchange Server 2003 can significantly enhance end-user productivity by providing a secure, direct, easily implemented wireless email while simultaneously lowering IT costs by eliminating the need for middleware."

Email is the obvious application required by mobile workers who want to remain connected while away from the office. Between 2002 and 2006, the number of mobile workers in the United States will grow from 10 million to a total of 104.5 million individuals, and the No. 1 application organizations plan to spend money on in 2004 is email. According to IDC, 84 percent of businesses will look to deploy email first and then follow with personal information management, calendar applications and customer relationship management or sales force automation applications at the same time or soon after. Converged devices, such as the Treo line of smartphones, are poised to capture this growth in mobility with an expected growth rate for converged devices of 47 percent CAGR worldwide by 2006.

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