Good Technology has introduced a range of push e-mail and mobile applications software, which could make it more attractive to enterprises in Europe - and acquired some rival technology.
GoodLink 4.5 now supports smartphones, and the product can now speak French, Italian, German and Spanish. It also has a security quarantine feature that will not let phones and handhelds access the back-end unless they have all security applications up-to-date and, finally will support Lotus Domino back-ends next year.
"Smartphones with T9 text input are popular in Europe," said Sue Forbes, vice president of marketing at Good. For smartphones, the product displays two lines for each e-mail, and has calendar and contacts screens tailored for smartphone-sized screens. "There are keyboard shortcuts, which I got to know very quickly."
The first phones supported are the Motorola MPx220 and Audiovox SMT5600 running Windows Mobile, and support for Nokia's Symbian phones is promised. Good has added features to e-mail which make sense on a phone-centric device, such as a menu option to phone the sender of an e-mail, and an offline mode where the phone is on but data is off.
The device compliance manager is like those included in laptop remote access services such as iPass and GoRemote, but Forbes reckons it's a first for handhelds. It checks whether any anti-virus or other security software is up-to-date and running, before allowing the device to access GoodLink. Any device found to be out of date can be brought up-to-date by remote updates.
Support for local languages includes notifications and dialogue screens in FIGS (French, Italian, German or Spanish). "We have got good traction with the English version, with users in 50 countries, on 100 carriers," said Forbes. "Local languages will increase the explosion."
Domino support could also come in handy in Europe, where the Lotus messaging server has a bigger market share than in the US, said Forbes. "We've focussed on Exchange, and that's got us into half the Fortune 500," she explained. "Now it's time to do Domino, to get into the other half."
Good speeded up the development by buying assets from rival JP Mobile, including JP's rival product SureWave Mobile Office. Forbes commented that "JP Mobile will be left with more of a consulting business," and JP Mobile referred all press enquiries to Good Technology.
Despite this, Domino support will still take until "the first half of 2006", said Forbes (ie up to a year). She also tantalised Novell users, by promising support for GroupWise (currently gestating versino 7 of the grizzled messaging server). GroupWise supporters can't put any date in their calendar though: "We're not giving a date," said Forbes. "GroupWise is a niche market."
Since launching in Europe 18 months ago, Good has won some users, but rival Seven claims not to feel the competition. Forbes echoes Seven's Paul Hedman, in pointing out that the two are taking different routes.
Seven does "white label" deals, in which operators put Seven's mobile e-mail on their handsets using their own brand, while Good sells a branded product to enterprises, including technical support.
Good is starting to work with operators when they sell to enterprises, and has deals with Sprint and Cingular in the US. "We are looking to partner with carriers here in future," said Forbes.