Global services giant IBM and wireless hardware vendor Symbol have teamed up to bring wireless access to enterprise back-end services, according to Hubert da Costa, Symbol's European director of global alliances. Da Costa said network managers benefit because of simplified access to mobility and data capture solutions as, once integrated by IBM, it becomes a 'one-stop shop with IBM's global footprint'.

IBM will be integrating Symbol's entire product line, including its data capture products, and deploying them as an element of its service offering, said da Costa. Symbol said it plans to integrate devices with embedded IBM mobile middleware for handheld access to data stored in back-end computer systems. Examples include rugged wireless mobile computers running IBM's WebSphere micro edition and IBM's Java-based device infrastructure for extending e-business applications. They use the messaging capabilities of MQ Everyplace to provide users with access to enterprise applications from Siebel, SAP, JD Edwards or PeopleSoft, as well as IBM DB2e databases.

Da Costa said he expected customers to come largely from retail and transport/logistics, along with those wanting to wireless-enable mobile workers. Applications include helping retailers track inventory and customer orders from the factory to the cash register more efficiently.

Da Costa said his message to network managers was that Symbol and IBM are offering 'a shared vision of the mobile enterprise workplace, at the core of which are combined end-to-end solutions based on IBM middleware that can provide business benefits'. These include enhanced efficiencies, accuracy and customer service to add competitive advantage throughout the supply chain, helping enterprises 'to extend their e-business infrastructures'.

The UK forms one-third of Symbol's European revenues, added da Costa.