Java application offers a cheap BlackBerry alternative

Sirenic reckons it can do everything RIM's pocket email device does, at less cost, and for more devices
Written by Jane Oliver, Contributor
Spurred by the popularity of Research In Motion's BlackBerry, Sirenic is promoting a Java-based information delivery product as a cheaper more flexible alternative to the pocket email terminal. Sirenic's service delivers a summary of a user's most critical information, to the screen of a mobile device, or as a voice summary to fixed or mobile phones. It handles and prioritises emails, calendar and tasks as well as providing personalised financial, business-critical or other information. As with the BlackBerry, this is aimed at corporations, who must buy and install software on a server to handle information delivery -- however, users are not tied to one end-user device and with a so-called "relevance server", the product learns. "We're really agnostic when it comes to device," said Craig Vachon, chief executive of Sirenic. "Whether you are using POTS (plain old telephone service), WAP, RIM, Pocket PC, any other wireless product or the Web, the key diferentiation is that the product learns and follows what's important to you. It puts the most imporatant information first and continues to learn." Rather than have the user 'drill-down' to find information using WAP, this product takes a more lateral approach improving the visibility and accessibility of personal and corporate information. To keep information secure, Sirenic uses standard SSL, either over the Internet or intranet; WTLS over WAP; and the open directory protocol LDAP as well as public key infrastructure (PKI). The product supports 'non repudiation', providing an audit trail proving what a user did and didn't do. "A bog standard implementation on a cheap server will support roughly 500 users," said Nic Sheard, chief technical officer of Sirenic. The product costs roughly £360 per user plus an annual maintenance charge. This compares with the BlackBerry at £125 per user for the server, and around £400 for the device. Sirenic was founded in 1998 with technology partners including The Carphone Warehouse, Oracle and Screaming Media.
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