Another rival looks to eat up BlackBerry

JP Mobile Inc. has introduced a new version of its wireless e-mail platform, adding security management features acquired from Asynchrony Solutions in May.

The SureWave Mobile Office suite — an update of JP Mobile’s SureWave Enterprise Server — is the latest to take on the popular BlackBerry mobile e-mail system with platform- and device-agnostic software. Its rivals include Intellisync Corp. and Sproqit Technologies Inc.; Intellisync debuted a new platform in April, while Sproqit, which is taking a less server-centric approach, is to deliver its software this month.

Like offerings from BlackBerry and Intellisync, SureWave Mobile Office gives enterprises behind-the-firewall software which allows for two-way synchronization of corporate data. SureWave supports synchronization of e-mail, calendar, contacts and tasks via various wireless networks — including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth — and a cradle. Synchronization can be real-time or offline.

Users can view attachments and have access to the company’s global address book. When linked to a Windows Mobile smart phone the software makes use of the device’s built-in e-mail, calendar and other applications, JP Mobile said. On the server side, SureWave supports Microsoft Exchange, Novell GroupWise and IBM Corp.’s Lotus Domino; companies can extend other applications to integrate with the platform. Devices using Symbian OS, Windows Mobile and the Palm OS are currently supported.

The company is bundling features from Mobile Defense, acquired from Asynchrony Solutions, which allows IT managers much tighter control over device security than is possible with some other platforms. Administrators can modify group settings, control passwords, encrypt application data, wipe data from devices and carry out other tasks remotely.

Devices can be set to wipe data after failed login attempts or after a set period of time. JP Mobile says the server-side software is easy to set-up and can be administered via a Web-based interface.

The new SureWave platform made its U.S. debut this week on AT&T Wireless Services Inc.’s Audiovox SMT 5600 smart phone; customers still need to activate the software. AT&T is bundling Intellisync Mobile Suite, supporting Exchange and Domino, with the same device.

Sproqit, which earlier announced its own platform would be available in mid-October, is initially targeting individuals and smaller businesses. Sproqit’s system uses a server only to co-ordinate connections between mobile device and desktop, while a desktop agent does most of the work, theoretically turning the mobile device into an infinitely customizable remote control.

Sproqit Personal Edition, using a centralized server outside the firewall to make connections, will be available shortly, and entails an US$8.95 per month charge in the U.S.