Hewlett-Packard (HP) has launched new mobile e-mail
and management services as part of a strategic partnership with Microsoft.
HP's managed e-mail service will include mobile e-mail client
and server software deployment and installation, end user support, and an
IT help desk, the company said at its Mobility Summit in San Francisco.
The tie-up is part of Microsoft's "push e-mail"
iniative for Windows Mobile 5.0 which could spell bad news for providers like Research in Motion (RIM), according to HP.
"For all software and service vendors with a business model
like RIM, free Microsoft push e-mail is a threat. In fact it's more than a
threat. They need to revise their business model," said Alberto Bozzo,
vice-president of commercial products for HP's personal systems group.
"Not only is this giant offering push e-mail for free,
previously large corporations were uncomfortable with sending e-mail and
intellectual property outside the company firewall to be held in RIM's network
operation centre (NOC)," he told ZDNet UK.
"Now, with Windows Mobile 5.0 on an Exchange server, e-mail
is pushed straight to the device without having to go through a NOC.
"For us it's good news. Microsoft were looking for a
strategic partner to help them gain access to volume. Of course we will continue
to support our existing push e-mail partners, Good and Seven."
HP's mobile device management service can handle a variety
of machines and handhelds on a global basis, according to Geraldine Rossiter,
program director for HP mobile services.
"We've created a single global e-mail platform and management
service for mobile devices. Over-the-air updates add to safety, and if devices
are lost or damaged the data can be wiped," said Rossiter.
Dave Rothschild, vice-president of handheld business for
HP's personal systems group, said prosumers buying mobile devices are fuelling
the mobile mail infrastructure.
"Mobile e-mail is the killer app pulling a lot of the demand [for managed services]," he said.
Victor Garcia, chief technology officer for HP Canada,
agreed mobile e-mail is one of the killer apps, but said mobile business
applications would also grow rapidly.
"Businesses want to follow the money," said Garcia.
"Cashflow, orders, invoicing, inspections, filing information about a service
call--anything that impacts sales and revenue. Businesses want to address
[that]. Mobile technology can take days off invoicing processes."