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IBM and RIM extend enterprise reach of Blackberry with broader access to corporate applications.

IBM's Mobile Middleware and RIM's BlackBerry Platform Wirelessly Connect Users to Enterprise Applications

IBM and Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq:RIMM) (TSX:RIM) recently announced an agreement aimed at providing mobile workers with better access to enterprise information and applications. This relationship, with development and integration efforts focused on IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Access (WEA) mobile middleware and BlackBerry Enterprise Server, allows BlackBerry users to access and work with enterprise data and wirelessly synch their handheld with server applications. Developers will also be able to easily customize enterprise applications for the BlackBerry platform.

With the added capabilities of IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Access, salespeople, for example, can wirelessly access enterprise sales applications, such as Sales Force Automation (SFA), via their BlackBerry handheld to request prices, enter orders, determine available inventory and confirm shipments. Salespeople can also check calendars, make phone calls, send and receive e-mails, and use instant messaging applications such as IBM Lotus' Sametime Everyplace, allowing them to respond more quickly and efficiently to their customer needs. Field service groups and executives can also benefit from push-based, timely access to relevant information from back-end corporate applications, including service requests and sales reports, thereby helping to minimize the need to be in the office and enabling them to be in the field with customers and colleagues.

"With expanded access to enterprise systems and information, BlackBerry effectively becomes a more powerful platform that corporations can use to extend existing enterprise applications regardless of location or network connectivity," said Rod Adkins, general manager of IBM's pervasive computing division. "IBM's relationship with RIM is another milestone in creating a computing ecosystem that allows on demand wireless access."

"RIM is pleased to partner with IBM to deliver BlackBerry integration with WebSphere Everyplace Access," said Jim Balsillie, Chairman and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. "WebSphere Everyplace Access and BlackBerry can help mobile professionals increase productivity and enhance customer service while on the go. Companies can also generate a strong return on investment by leveraging their existing investments in IBM and RIM technologies and extending their corporate applications to wireless environments."

This relationship combines the advantages of IBM's enterprise application access capability with RIM's BlackBerry Mobile Data Service and wireless platform. A broad portfolio of portlets linked with a variety of applications enable end-users to easily customize their start page--providing better control over their interaction with their BlackBerry handhelds. These portlets also enable developers to easily and quickly leverage key features of the WEA/BlackBerry solution, such as the push architecture, end-to-end security and always-on connection, in their applications. IBM's WebSphere Studio Developer toolkit can be used to easily modify or build new portlets to access additional enterprise applications, allowing developers to bring enterprise solutions to BlackBerry users faster and more efficiently.

The combined solution is aimed at allowing faster development and customization of workforce solutions regardless of the application and data sets required. WEA and BlackBerry can enable developers to build and deploy solutions involving multiple applications, giving mobile workforces the flexibility to interact with a variety of applications together with PIM and email. This agreement expands on an existing relationship with IBM, in which IBM Global Services is a system integrator for RIM, offering installation, maintenance, financing and consulting services.

Available on RIM's Java-based BlackBerry handhelds including the new BlackBerry 7200 Series, functions also include instant messaging via IBM's Lotus Sametime. Customers can contact their RIM or IBM account manager for more information on the WEA/BlackBerry solution.

Research In Motion is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity. RIM's portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements.
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Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 22, 2003
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