B.C. firm looks to extend corporate desktop

Mobile workers no longer have to merely reminisce about desktop functionality. Last month, wireless software developer Veratium Software Ltd. announced the release of Version 2.3 of its MOTIVUS Enterprise Server, a solution that lets users access files or folders that reside on their desktop computers or corporate networks.

The Vancouver-based company said that MOTIVUS Enterprise Server was developed to give mobile users their own Windows Office desktop, which can be accessed by the user’s choice of mobile device. Version 2.3 incorporates additional functionality and has expanded to include access to Microsoft Project files as well as Microsoft Access databases.

Veratium said Version 2.3 also offers complete integration into Microsoft Outlook including calendar, contacts, tasks and notes.

“Our vision is that people can use our software to make them more productive when they are away from their desks,” said Phil Calvin, CEO of Veratium. “In the new version we have added things like Microsoft Access. It is your information wherever you happen to be.”

Calvin said that, in a nutshell, mobile employees can seamlessly access their C or D drives as well as e-mail inboxes. He stressed that all information is updated in real-time and can be deployed and running within 15 minutes of installation.

Calvin explained that the solution is configured as a server and IT managers are responsible for designating URLs to users. He said users can then key the URL into their handheld and connect right away.

“It can be up and running within a matter of minutes,” he said. “The other key part is that we are giving end users their own desktops, so there is no training needed, which lowers the total cost of ownership.”

In terms of security, Calvin added that the solution promotes flexibility. He said that there are several ways companies can choose to handle security.

“With our software, you can actually tie it down to different devices,” he said. “If we deployed 10 HP Jornadas, for example, we could tie down our software so that it would respond to requests from those 10 devices only. There is no information residing outside of the firewall.”

Although he gives credence to the uniqueness of the solution, Mark Quigley, research director with Kanata, Ont.-based The Yankee Group in Canada, said that Veratium may be ahead of the ball.

“If you take a look at the current enterprise use of wireless devices…you are pretty much looking at access to e-mail,” Quigley said. “The enterprise hasn’t really gone terribly far down the road with adopting wireless data/Internet solutions quite yet. Certainly, going forward, I think that kind of demand is going to show very strong growth, but the key is going to be in the ability to hit that market at the right time.”

Quigley also questioned the capabilities of existing WAN infrastructures. He said that until GPRS and CDMA 2000 technologies are fully implemented and 2.5 and 3G services make it to the forefront of technology, throughputs will be insufficient to transmit the amount of data needed for wireless solutions like the MOTIVUS Enterprise Server.

Quigley did note that it will be these types of wireless solutions that will drive the wireless data/Internet market. It will just be a matter of time.

The MOTIVUS Enterprise Server 2.3 is shipping now and pricing starts at $2,999 per 10-user licence. For more information, visit http://www.veratium.com.