Palm builds channel for wireless push

Personal digital assistant (PDA) vendor palmOne is embarking on an initiative to build its channel network in the Middle East and Africa in response to wireless networking opportunities in the region.

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By  Patrick Phelvin Published  December 10, 2003

Personal digital assistant (PDA) vendor palmOne is embarking on an initiative to build its channel network in the Middle East and Africa in response to wireless networking opportunities in the region. As such, the company has developed a new partner programme to enable resellers to dealing with the complexity brought about by operating its PDA’s on wireless networks.

Roger Baskerville, palmOne’s business markets and alliances director, launched the programme, coupled with a drive to recruit more channel partners, at the Handheld Computing Devices Summit in Dubai last month, in an effort to increase the company’s share of the region’s business market.

“Wireless, and the sorts of applications that run on top of it, provide new opportunities for people to use our devices,” says Baskarville. “That means we need to build out and evolve our channels. One of the things I want to do here recruit more channel partners, the kind of channel partners that can start putting together solutions, because by definition, wireless adds complexity, and where there is complexity there are opportunities for resellers,” he adds.

In terms of building market share, palmOne faces fierce competition from Simian-based mobile phone vendors coupled with potential confusion about its mail and messaging solutions.

The company says that by supplying demonstration development equipment to its channels and opening clear lines of communication with them, its increasing range of solutions for wireless computing will become clearly defined at a regional level. It believes that by developing more effective mobile e-mail solutions it will appeal to business customers and strong channel links are key to communicating that vision.

“Setting up access to e-mail is something we are spending a massive amount of time getting right,” says Baskarville. “You have different networks, mail clients, back-end solutions, firewalls and different company policies. It can be daunting, our VersaMail product is the best on the market it is not easy enough. We are in the process of defining solutions that are much easier,” he adds.

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