Wireless services well in hand

Presenters at last week’s DEMOmobile 2002 conference in La Jolla, Calif., demonstrated that as mobile devices evolve, so too are mobile services.

Services and service-oriented offerings unveiled at the conference ran the gamut, from a sales-oriented CRM service to location-based marketing tools to payment solutions geared for service providers. Not surprisingly, entertainment-oriented services also debuted at the show.

UpShot Corp., based in Mountain View, Calif., has developed a hosted service to bring automated CRM to sales teams. The service is designed to automatically send an alert via e-mail or a text message to a vice president of sales any time a salesperson in the field makes a change to an account or adds a note to a customer’s profile. UpShot says this will allow companies to close deals more quickly.

Aiming for companies that seek to deliver enterprise applications of their own via wireless, ThinkingBytes Technology used DEMOmobile to tout its Freedom application-development platform. The company showed off software designed to enable IT managers to develop and deploy enterprise applications to offline and online computing devices. Its special synchronization technology makes sure that data is secure and always up-to-date, according to the Lexington, Mass.-based company.

A startup company called SkyGo, in Redwood City, Calif, is attempting to renew the concept of wireless-delivered marketing. The company last week demonstrated a technology that turns a mobile phone into a marketing “receiver.” The company’s SkyCode service enables marketers to reach mobile phone users. Users enter a unique SkyCode (a series of numbers listed in an advertisement) on their mobile phone and, in turn, connect instantly to marketing material.

An interactive, wireless Post-it Note is how executives at PocketThis, located in Oakland, Calif., describe a data service they will sell to carriers, who in turn will offer it to its customers. PocketThis is currently signing up content providers who will display a PocketThis button on their sites. Users highlight the information they want, such as a restaurant location, then send that information to their mobile phones by clicking the button.

Moving from marketing to payment services, iPin unveiled Version 3.0 of its payment middleware platform, which manages the flow of transactions that occur during an electronic payment. The Belmont, Calif.-based company is working with mobile operators, including Orange and France Telecom, as well as financial services companies and telematics providers toward allowing those companies to become central bill providers for customers’ electronic payments.

Entertainment services continue to flourish in the world of wireless. Shazam Entertainment, in London, has developed a service that identifies the title and artist of a song played into a user’s mobile phone. Once a user is connected to the Shazam service, done by dialing a four-digit number, he or she holds up the headset to a speaker for 15 seconds and receives a text message with all the relevant song information. Users can also visit the company’s Web site to purchase CDs of music they’ve identified.

Sorrent, a video game creator and publisher based in San Mateo, Calif., has developed a series of interactive games for mobile phones and other Internet-capable devices. Users can play football or compete in trivia matches live against other mobile phone users.

Matt Berger is a reporter at IDG News Services, an InfoWorld affiliate.