Tech Tools
September 2003 - By Teresa von Fuchs

Push This

When your mama said, “don’t be pushy,” she didn’t mean this. Push Mobile, part of Synchrologic Mobile Suite, will push your mobile technology to the edge. Push Mobile uses IP-based network connectivity over Wi-Fi, LAN or WAN networks to push enterprise information to mobile workers practically anywhere in the field. Enterprise data like e-mail, applications, files and Web sites can now be pushed along to the mobile workforce, from the front office to the back woods, using the network address on the device and automatically delivering the information to mobile devices when relevant information becomes available on the server. Push Mobile is now compatible with IP-addressable devices, as well as SMS-addressable devices like laptops, Tablet PCs, handhelds and smartphones. Push Mobile uses T-Mobile’s standards-based network and integrated open
platforms, like Pocket PC Phone Edition and the Treo 270 running Palm OS. Price: $59 to $549, depending on components and users. Contact: (888) 345-7962;

What a Steel

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s STEELMAN! Steelman Software Solutions, manufacturers of Oracle-based products for the steel industry, has released Steelman Steel Enterprise Management System Version 4 (SEMS v4). SEMS v4 is an integrated suite of enterprise-wide software solutions developed exclusively for suppliers and processors of steel and other metal products. The SEMS v4 solution works around three simple principles: adaptability to handle any metals distribution or production problem; reliability to ensure that orders are virtually error free and manufactured to meet quality standards; and performance to deliver efficient results to staff and customers on demand. The key benefits are realized through reduced inventory and increased turnover rates, cost savings, improved customer service and efficiency. Unlike other solutions for the metals industry, SEMS v4 does not require you to change your business to fit the software—it is designed from the ground up to economically adapt to existing businesses in the metals industry. Steelman’s suite of Oracle-based products includes Sales Order Management, Product Catalogue, Order Booking, Warehouse Management, Manufacturing Control and Business Financials. Price: $20,000 to $200,000 depending on module choice, number of users and configuration. Contact: (416) 495-1781;

Not Mini Me, nor Mini Cooper

Try this riddle: What weighs less than an ounce and is smaller than a car key, but on it can fit hundreds of digital photos, dozens of MP3 music files or hundreds of smaller documents and presentations? Give up? It’s the new 256MB Iomega Mini USB drive. It’s the ideal accessory for mobile users in business, home and educational settings. The Iomega Mini USB 256MB drive makes transporting and sharing data easier than ever. It also supports Iomega’s patented Active Disk technology, which allows Active Disk Powered software applications to conveniently launch and run directly from an Iomega Mini USB drive. Software and data reside together on the Mini USB drive, require no separate installation on the host PC and leave no trace after the drive is disconnected. The Iomega Mini USB Drive, now available in 64MB, 128MB and 256MB sizes, also includes Iomega’s Mini Lock software, which gives users the ability to control their data by creating a password-protected secure area, called a Privacy Zone, on the drive. This Mini Lock software, which is available for Windows 98/98SE/Me/2000/XP, uses a built-in CPU on the Mini USB drive for password encryption, adding further security to the data by making the password harder to decode. Price: $50 to $130. Contact: (888) 446-6342;

Doesn’t Come in a Can

Small and mid-sized companies have a new alphabet opportunity—and we’re not talking about soup. SQL Anywhere Studio 9, from iAnywhere Solutions, is the next-generation alphabet. And next-generation data management and synchronization for the enterprise, too. This new version offers expanded support for XML, Web services, server initiated synchronization, .NET and Mac OS X—not to mention performance and usability enhancements that enable partners to develop unique solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Also an advanced cache management system improves concurrency and scalability for environments with hundreds of simultaneous users. Better graphical administration tools—including a query editor, integrated stored procedure debugger, profiler and a synchronization monitoring tool—give developers faster access to information. SQL Anywhere Studio 9 also makes it easier to push database information as a Web service. Price: $399, with a single deployment license priced at $119. Contact: (800) 801-2069;

Not Just One of the Pack

Wolves are great trackers. They can find a lone moose in the Canadian tundra during a total whiteout. So it’s no surprise to see WolfeTech sporting some tracking skills. SigmaPage for RIM wireless handheld users tracks down hard-to-contact sales people and managers and notifies them of important appointment updates, voice calls or e-mails. SigmaPage is not another e-mail or voicemail service that leaves a message for a person probably too busy to check their messages. SigmaPage alerts busy employees with a buzz. A variety of sounds, vibrations and notices overlap other applications, grabbing the user’s attention and letting them know the nature of the interruption. WolfeTech SigmaPage can send a message to a corporate BlackBerry user or to groups of users within an organization via one of three options: from another corporate BlackBerry client using the client-side SigmaPage application; from the administration interface designed for the corporate administrator; or from a Web site designed for non-BlackBerry users. All SigmaPage components reside on the SigmaServer behind a corporate firewall. WolfeTech SigmaPage is available for RIM 850, 950, 857 and 957 devices, and as part of WolfeTech Sigma 1.2. Price: $9.95 activation fee, $4.95 per month. Contact: (800) 965-3383;

Street Tough

Lookout weakling laptops, there’s a new bully in town. Panasonic’s Toughbook CF-73, packed into a full magnesium-alloy case and powered by Intel Centrino mobile technology, boasts wireless LAN, Bluetooth and wide-range wireless antennas integrated into the case, with analog modem and wired LAN technology inside. The 13.3-inch XGA active-matrix TFT LCD display panel provides bright readability. It runs the Intel Pentium M 1.4GHz CPU with 1 MB of on-die L2 cache, a 400MHz system bus, 256 MB or 512 MB of RAM and an ATi Mobility Radeon 7500 AGP4x video sub-system with 32 MB of VRAM. The CF-73 is also 24-percent lighter, 28-percent smaller and has over 200-percent more battery run-time than the CF-72. The shock-mounted, 40GB, low-power UltraATA100 hard drive makes sure that your data is protected. Price: NA. Contact: (800) 662-3537;

Talk the Talk

One of the keys to achieving user buy-in with your field force automation project is giving your roving workers communications options that fit their work style, not the other way around. Try to shoehorn them into just one way of talking and they are sure to balk. Teletrac, a provider of metro fleet location information systems, understands this. The company’s flagship fleet tracking product, FleetDirector, has just been enhanced to enable real-time, free-form text messaging. Drivers can now instantly send free-form text messages from their mobile data terminals (MDTs) to the dispatcher or fleet manager. Until now, drivers could only choose from preprogrammed messages or basic, five-digit numeric text. This kept unique information from being collected in the field in real-time. Now drivers can send important customer information, such as names and contact info, or product information, such as part numbers. Drivers can input this data using the alphanumeric keys on their MDTs or with an optional keyboard. Both current and new FleetDirector users who choose to install the Net 955 MDT can employ the enhanced messaging capability over a CDPD or GPRS network. The Net 955 MDT is an additional option with the standard FleetDirector hardware package. Price: $70 per month per vehicle. Contact: (800) 835-3872;

JETTing Around

Need some serious computing power that comes in an easy-to-use package? Look no further than Two Technologies’ JETT•ce. A manufacturer of rugged handheld/panel mount terminals and computers, Two Technologies designed the JETT•ce for one-handed operation. It features Microsoft Windows CE.NET, an Intel XScale processor, sunlight readable display with touchscreen technology, and a variety of interface capabilities. The standard 320 x 240 pixel QVGA-TFT color display is sunlight readable with an LED backlight for viewing in high or low light conditions. The touchscreen gives users the ability to create GUI-based applications, providing many possibilities for control. A 192 x 128-pixel monochrome LCD is also available with backlight and touchscreen options. The JETT•ce comes standard with 64 MB of SDRAM and 16 MB of built-in Compact Flash (CF), which is expandable to 2 GB. For removable data storage or I/O cards, the JETT•ce can be equipped with a CF slot. The JETT•ce features a variety of interface options. One RS-232 serial port is standard. For applications that require dual serial port capability, an optional second RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485 serial port is available. The JETT•ce is available as a line- or battery-powered unit, and includes customizable options such as keypad overlay, logo tag, serial tag, case color, cable and display. The JETT•ce case is constructed of Xenoy, one of the most durable, chemical-resistant materials available today. Price: NA. Contact: (215) 441-5395;


VizSync from VizMotion allows for multi-user synchronization of data between FileMaker Pro and Palm OS applications. Not a FileMaker plugin, VizSync is fully integrated with Palm’s HotSync manager, so users can synchronize with the HotSync button. With no new Palm applications to install, users can sync directly to Palm PIM systems. VizSync hosts your databases on the local client or on remote clients and servers. VizSync will work with your existing databases, custom databases or with sample databases included to get you up and running immediately. Users of FileMaker Mobile can continue to run the application while using VizSync to synchronize with Palm applications. VizSync is available for Windows 98/NT/2000/XP and for Mac OS X and 9. Price: $140. Contact: (404) 250-0268;


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