March 23, 2006
 

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Posted: 12.04

Janet Boudris Knows Wireless

How “the RIM of enterprise applications” is blasting false expectations while hitting new benchmarks.
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By Michelle Maisto




Janet Boudris, Broadbeam’s chairman and CEO, has chosen to use her powers for good. Which is lucky for us, as she possesses the sort of combined intelligence and charm that makes a person inclined to believe everything she says. The object of her earnestness is Broadbeam’s Mobile Solutions System, which enables mobile users to exchange information with the enterprise securely, in real time and without fear of losing a signal; the latter feat is accomplished through automatic, seamless switching between multiple wireless networks. If you don’t believe us, just ask London Ambulance Service—a
customer whose ambulances rely on wireless to communicate with dispatch centers and hospitals, and which have never needed a connection and not found one.

Mobile Enterprise: I’ve heard you poke fun at advertisements where people are enjoying cellular service on remote mountaintops. Has the media affected the way we think about “staying connected”? Have our expectations become unrealistic?

Janet Boudris: The media has helped create the image of wireless as the “ultimate in convenience” in our minds—getting information in real time regardless of where we are. The image typically focuses on only one element of a mobile solution, such as a device or a network. However, the “out-of-box” experience with wireless for enterprises doesn’t come close to the image. The less-than-mountaintop results re-enforce the mindset that wireless data communications is not ready for prime time for broad-based enterprise applications.

ME: That said, how does Broadbeam meet the challenge of keeping enterprise professionals connected?

JB: Broadbeam does for enterprise applications across multiple devices and networks what RIM has done for e-mail access with its own device. Broadbeam’s objective is to make wireless transparent to the end user and the business. Broadbeam compensates for the limitations of wireless coverage and performance to provide an excellent wireless experience for the end user and to enhance the efficiency of the business. With Broadbeam’s mobile solutions, enterprises today can leverage the explosion of Wi-Fi spots and existing wide area networks into one true network experience to address coverage and congestion more effectively. To enhance performance, Broadbeam compensates for intermittent communications (fading signals, temporary coverage gaps, carrier time-outs), changing IP addresses, high latency and chatty applications and delivers enterprise-class security with an efficient wireless VPN.

ME: Are there stumbling blocks the industry still has to surmount in order to reach an “always connected” state?

JB: The stumbling block in front of that “always connected” state is the lack of alignment between expectations and reality. If an enterprise understands the limitations of wireless networks and devices, the enterprise can offset the limitations and achieve its business objectives today. Success is about achieving business objectives and not just about using wireless technology.

ME: As you know, partnering in this industry is crucial. What are some benefits clients can gain as a result of the partnerships Broadbeam has forged?

JB: Our objective with partnerships is to reduce the risks associated with mobile solutions and to give the enterprise the confidence to deploy mobile solutions quickly. As a result, Broadbeam has partnerships with carriers, device manufacturers and technology providers to ensure that components work well together. For example, working with carriers, Broadbeam ensures that both the unique characteristics of the technology (e.g., 1xRTT, GPRS) and the unique deployments by carriers are addressed.•
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