Sprint in deals with Good Technology and Seven

Von Ephraim Schwartz

Wireless carrier Sprint announced a deal on Monday with Good Technology and plans for another on Tuesday with Seven, both of which will extend Sprint"s data services into the enterprise.

In the deal with Seven, a longtime Sprint partner, the carrier will extend its Sprint PCS Business Connection services from smart phones to lower-cost Java-enabled devices supporting the Sprint network. In effect, the move will put e-mail capability into more affordable, more ubiquitous JVM devices, which means that over time millions more users can have access to personal and corporate data.

The Sprint PCS Business Connection gives a personal or enterprise connection to Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, POP and IMAP e-mail, calendaring, and contacts.

According to Jack Gold, principal at J. Gold Associates, Sprint partnered with Seven over three years ago because it was not about to build an e-mail engine on its own. However, beyond e-mail, Gold said, the carriers in general still don"t have the know-how needed to go beyond e-mail.

"It is clear to me and anyone else that has ever dealt with a carrier, they don"t have the capability of solving most enterprise-user needs beyond voice," Gold said. "But Sprint and T-Mobile do a better job than most." 

Sprint"s deal with Good Technology will give users of Sprint-enabled devices push e-mail capability and other PIM functions.

The deal will give users two-way Exchange synchronization, secure over-the-air provisioning and management capabilities including AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption, as well as remote erase and password-policy management. If a password is not invoked, the centralized management console can prevent a user from accessing data.

Previously, Good Technology worked directly with enterprise customers. Through this deal with Sprint, however, Good Technology will work with the carrier to resell the service.

Pricing includes US$1,500 to open an account, a one-time $99 per-user access charge, $40 per month per user for those who already have a voice plan and $45 per month per user for those without a voice plan.

Like Sprint, Good Technology also had a busy day Monday, announcing a deal to put GoodLink on the Samsung i730 handset using the Verizon network. Good Technology also inked an agreement to deploy its GoodLink technology on the Microsoft Windows Mobile Smartphones OS, with Motorola MPx 220 and Audiovox SMT5600 handsets, both through Cingular.

The company also announced support for Lotus Domino Enterprise Server. GoodLink Lotus Domino Edition will be available in the first half of 2006.

Finally, Good Technology introduced GoodLink Compliance Manager, which focuses on mobile security and includes a one-way only outbound connection. This will eliminate the need to keep relatively insecure ports open in the network for accessing e-mail.