Palm partners with IBM

Palm and IBM have teamed up in an attempt to extend enterprise application access to mobile devices through Big Blue’s WebSphere Everyplace Access (WEA) solution.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  August 6, 2002

Palm and IBM have teamed up in an attempt to extend enterprise application access to mobile devices through Big Blue’s WebSphere Everyplace Access (WEA) solution.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two vendors will develop a mobile client suite for Palm handhelds while jointly developing an instant messaging application using Lotus Sametime technology. Both solutions are scheduled to be available by the end of the year and more should follow during 2003.

In a parallel move, IBM has also signed up as a reseller of Palm’s handhelds, thereby replacing that outsourcing deal that saw Palm devices re-branded as IBM Webpads until six months ago.

Both agreements come at a time when IBM is attempting to establish WebSphere as the de facto platform for pervasive computing within the enterprise. By signing up with Palm, Big Blue has not only added a widely recognised handheld to its arsenal but also gained access to Palm’s large retail customer base of business users.

“There are millions of Palm handhelds within the enterprise. This relationship will ensure that those devices can now access enterprise applications across wireless networks, connected and disconnected using WebSphere Everyplace Access,” says Letina Connelly, director of IBM’s enterprise pervasive computing division.

“Palm’s mobility expertise and preference in the enterprise, joined with IBM's strength in delivering enterprise solutions and services, will help customers looking to leverage wireless to increase employee productivity and sales,” she adds.

For Palm, the agreement with IBM will help sure up its attack on the enterprise market — a campaign that was beginning to lose ground to Microsoft’s pocket PC and the combined might of HP and Compaq.

“Establishing a relationship with IBM gives us the ability to compete with the likes of HP in the enterprise space,” comments Stuart Maughan, general manager of Palm’s Middle East branch.

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