IBM, Vodafone, Motorola team on device management

IBM Corp., Motorola Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC are working together to develop device-management technology, in an effort to bring convenient phone-setup and maintenance services to users of GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and 3G (third-generation) handhelds, the companies announced Thursday.

Device-management services that the companies are looking to develop include such things as configuring mobile devices on behalf of the end user, monitoring and troubleshooting service performance as well as installing and upgrading device software, IBM, Motorola and Vodafone said in a joint statement.

The companies are attempting to promote a standardized approach to devising services for GPRS and 3G technologies, they said. IBM, Motorola and Vodafone are all members of 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project), TMF (Telemanagement Forum) as well as the SyncML Initiative Ltd., the industry group promoting the SyncML industry specification for mobile data synchronization and device management.

Motorola is developing SyncML-based handset products that will include device-management technologies and plans to co-host demonstrations of the new services with IBM and Vodafone at the SyncML Congress being held in Amsterdam from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, the companies said.

IBM, Motorola and Vodafone are concerned that if customers are not given useful and convenient customer service at the point of sale, they will quickly turn away from new wireless technologies such as GPRS and 3G. Since GPRS and 3G wireless devices are so complex — not only to make but to use — standards must be agreed upon so that users can have their wireless mobile devices configured for them upon purchase, they said.

For its part, IBM is integrating device-management technology from its Tivoli Systems Inc. subsidiary in Austin, Texas, and integrating those services with IBM’s WebSphere Everyplace Server software. The management application software is to run over IBM’s eServer pSeries, the companies said.

IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-765-1900 or at

Vodafone, in Newbury, England, is at +44-1635-33251 or

Motorola, based in Schaumburg, Illinois, can be contacted at +1-847-576-5000 or at

More information about the SyncML initiative can be found at