Working under the assumption that wireless will drive profits, Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., and Motorola Inc. are busy lining up companies with the know-how to extend and deploy enterprise applications to a wide variety of mobile devices.
This week Invisix, a San Jose, Calif., wireless systems integrator jointly owned by Cisco and Motorola, will announce a deal with Xora Inc. to use that company's wireless and voice solutions for extracting data from mission-critical applications and deploying out to wireless devices. Xora, in Mountain View, Calif., already has deals in place with many of the major enterprise software vendors including Clarify Corp., i2 Technologies Inc., Oracle Corp., SAP AG, and Siebel Systems Inc.
"Our IP (intellectual property) is around these enterprise apps," said Ananth Rani, vice-president of products and services at Xora.
The Xora platform consists of middleware software that is both carrier and device independent which provides connectivity to back-office applications and out to the mobile devices, according to Peter Tsou, vice-president of business development at Xora.
The system can use either its pre-built connectors or adapters to enterprise applications or Web service protocols. "It can call a SOAP object," Rani said. (Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a Microsoft-led initiative that allows applications to communicate with each other over the Internet, regardless of what operating enviroment that application runs in).
Using a business model that may have been pioneered by Intel Corp., which promotes ever more sophisticated software to increase sales of its hardware, Cisco is hoping to speed the deployment of wireless solutions in the enterprise to increase sales of its telecommunications products, said Peter Tsou, Xora's business development head.
"Cisco is interested in driving infrastructure, and Cisco gear and enterprise data mobility is a way to increase sales to enterprise companies," Tsou said.
Cisco and handset manufacturer Motorola aren't the only high-tech companies partnering with wireless infrastructure suppliers to get more of their products out the door.
Last week Microsoft announced a deal with MobileWay, a so-called telecommunications logistics company that has agreements with 89 wireless carriers around the world.
With MobileWay as a partner, Microsoft is now ready to deploy its wireless middleware product, Microsoft Mobile Information Server (MMIS), as a hosted service to enterprise-level companies.
MMIS middleware consists of two pieces, an Enterprise Edition (EE) and a Carrier Edition (CE) of the server software. MobileWay will host the Carrier Edition at its data centers.
In its first incarnation, MMIS will only work with Microsoft Exchange Server.