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February

Tech Tools

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Tech Tools


By Teresa von Fuchs



The Automation Superstore

Broadbeam has the answer! There are numerous challenges facing enterprises; how to mobilize their workforces is just one of them. Enter Mobile Solutions System (MSS). Broadbeam promises an easy-to-implement answer to integrating a mobile workforce with customized applications into your enterprise. Start with modular thinking and industry standards. Add Java and Microsoft support, including all major wireless networks such as WLANs and throw in compatibility with most devices on the market and you’re on your way to rapid design and implementation of a mobile solution. With sales force automation, field service automation, workforce management and route sales pick-up and delivery, MSS packs together all the tools necessary to build the right solution. Mobile Development Environment, a key component of MSS, generates code automatically to the server and client via an intuitive, user-friendly graphical interface. Run-time components perform specific mobile functions within an application such as browsing, rules-based notifications, local intelligence cache and synch and message queuing via ExpressQ. Price: Starts at $4,000 per developer seat. Contact: (609) 734-0300; www.broadbeam.com


Real Men Need Macros

Are you a real person? With real needs? Real People Software has been thinking of you. And macros. And about how real people need macros. Macros for Real People version 1.0 is a Windows keyboard macro program that automates common and repetitive tasks. A macro substitutes one hot key for a whole series of keystrokes and mouse movements. While cutting down on careless errors and shortening repetitive tasks, Macros for Real People still preserves information such as user IDs and passwords. Macros can be created and edited manually, featuring both program-specific and global macros with a variety of user-specified launches. Each macro can also have a variable playback speed, for faster or slower performance than its recorded speed. Password-protection allows only the specified user to edit, schedule, delete and use macros. Price: $19.95. Contact: (817) 281-8771; www.realpeoplesoftware.com


Is That A . . . ? Oh, Never Mind

Electric Pocket is not the latest high-tech snowboarding gear but it does make it easier to place those important calls. Electric Pocket’s new application, TapDial, makes accessing frequent contacts even easier. Compatible with most popular models of smartphones and PDAs, TapDial puts a speed-dial button right on the application launcher. Just tap the button and go instantly into a call. Users set up TapDial groups for the people they most frequently call, even assigning a caller to one of their devices’ “hard buttons.” Price: $9.95. Contact: www.electricpocket.com


Rave for Wireless

TechnoCom is not a new underground rave party for professionals who like to get down and stay up all night. Nor is it the soundtrack to the dot-com crash. TechnoCom has expanded its enterprise asset management offerings with the addition of GSM/GPRS to its family of Location Messaging Units (LMU). Embedded in all TechnoCom LMU products is a mobile device software program called Programmable Event Generator (PEG). PEG-enabled devices have their own profiles which are reprogrammable, anytime, over-the-air. This allows vehicles to proactively report an extensive range of event-driven location alerts and messages. The LMU supports stored messages and message forwarding, guaranteed messaging and automatic, over-the-air initialization and remote configuration. At the foundation of LMU is TechnoCom’s LM Exchange, which provides third-party access to PEG and enables integrators to manage location devices over other networks such as iDEN, CDMA, CDPD and now GPRS. LM Exchange consists of a basic API that allows for quick and easy means of interfacing different location applications. Price: NA. Contact: (818) 501-1900; www.technocom-wireless.com


What Would You Do?

What would you do with unlimited memory? Memorize the Bible? The encyclopedia? Shakespeare’s complete works? Or would you revolutionize remote access? Mobility Electronics’ new Mobilefile application allows anywhere, anytime access to files, loading and removal of applications stored on PCs. Using any Palm-powered device, from snap-on modems to new smartphones, you now have handheld access to Word documents and Excel and PowerPoint files stored on your PC. You can browse, transfer, view and edit files remotely without HotSync. Allowing access to any predesignated folder on a desktop PC and allowing navigation of subfolders creates practically unlimited memory. Mobilefile
converts Word, Excel and PowerPoint files into the proper format
for review and further editing from your handheld. Practically
unlimited memory is, well, practically in your hands. Price: $30
to $50. Contact: (480) 596-0061; www.mobilityelectronics.com


Mobile to the Max

Aether Systems’ MobileMax promises automated vehicle information and mobile messaging with land-based and satellite
communications technology in one rugged shell. The ADV Monitor is a vehicle information monitoring system integrated with MobileMax and Mobile Messaging. It uses land-based and satellite data transmission to deliver real-time information on driver performance, vehicle fault codes and state line crossings. ADV Monitor and MobileMax make it easy to evaluate driver and vehicle performance, notify operations when a vehicle needs repair and calculate the distance each vehicle travels in each state. Optional interfaces allow for driver ease-of-use; either a keyboard/display unit or a handheld device is compatible. MobileMax automates check call and dispatch, scheduling, route tracking, load optimization and pick-up and delivery verification. It also accelerates shipment billing, provides customers with delivery status, improves driver security and reduces telecommunications costs. Price: $2,000 for hardware and $35 per month for service. Contact: www.aethersystems.com


Cap’n Crunch Now With BlackBerrys

Some people are still surprised when their new toy doesn’t live up to the promises on the box. Just like eating kids’ cereal is never as much fun as the commercials make it look, sometimes the latest and greatest technology leaves you feeling disappointed. So, Consilient Technologies has created a band-aid for some of your BlackBerry boo-boos. Currently, BlackBerry handhelds only support Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino-based environments, but with MX software, any corporate e-mail
system, including Novell GroupWise, may by wirelessly extended to BlackBerry handhelds without supplementary hardware or changes to the handheld. MX is mail-extension software developed by Consilient through the BlackBerry ISV alliance program. The MX Console is a key administrative feature for BlackBerry users with features that include user management, filter management, error log settings, network traffic monitoring and licensing information. Price: $4,400 for 20 users. Prices vary depending on configuration. Contact: (866) 576-1706; www.consilient.net


Minorplanet is Picking Up the Tab

Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Minorplanet wants you to have a free lunch. But more importantly, Minorplanet wants you to send data for free. Save on data transfer by avoiding expensive cellular networks. Minorplanet has patented a new data transfer option for its Vehicle Management Information Suite, a solution combing GPS and wireless vehicle telematics technologies to monitor vehicles, minute by minute, in real time. This new low-power, radio-frequency data-transfer technology allows users to transfer data over radio frequencies instead of spending money and minutes on cellular networks. Extensively tested in the U.S. and already in use in the U.K., customers whose vehicles regularly return to the same location or “base” can now transfer vehicle information reliably. Price: Free with Vehicle Management Information Suite. Contact: (800) 493-3022; www.minorplanet.com


Unimobile: Not Another Unicorn

Electronics for Imaging isn’t a picture company making it big on your full-color memories. It’s out to provide you, your customers, your partners, your partner’s customers, its partner’s customers and on and on—pretty much the whole wide world—with a reliable, secure, two-way data-delivery network. EFI’s new Unimobile 5.0 has an open, scalable architecture that can process thousands of messages per second and works seamlessly across carriers. Unimobile 5.0 contains three integrated components: the Unimobile Intelligent Network, a global two-way network that delivers data to end-users via 500 mobile carriers in 130 countries; the Mobile Messaging Platform which allows enterprises to deploy messaging applications to their employees and customers; and Enterprise Application Connectors, to rapidly configure and leverage existing infrastructure systems to meet individual customer needs. Typical vertical market services that could benefit from Unimobile 5.0 are banking and finance, for use in secure two-way account status, stock alerts and transaction authentication; travel, for use in flight notifications, mobile ticketing and in-flight text messaging; and field services, for work order alerting and dispatch, service call information access and inventory and billing management. Unimobile’s billing is flexible. Price: NA. Contact: (650) 357-3500; www.efi.com


Never Stop at Another Gas Station—for Directions

Portable Internet wants you to always know where you are, so it’s offering a portable GPS tracking solution, GPS Wireless Tracker. It uses any browser-equipped portable Internet device, such as handhelds and smartphones for economical GPS tracking, navigation, dispatch and communications—in or out of a vehicle. Using Portable Internet’s advanced Cache Technology, Tracker promises reliable GPS data collection and tracking even when wireless service is temporarily unavailable and with low battery drain. Two additional products in conjunction with Wireless Tracker are Wireless Forms for dispatch and location-sensitive data collection; and Wireless Navigator, a client/server wireless navigation system for routing and audible real-time route guidance. GPS is a useful solution for a wide range of enterprise fields from construction to government to corporate sales. And compared to fixed Automatic Vehicle Location Systems, Wireless Tracker offers portable tracking at a fraction of conventional costs. Price: $30 per month for service and $200 for hardware. Contact: (201) 802-9388; www.portableinternet.com


More Than a Box of Chocolates

JMTek has a USBDrive for everyone on your Valentine’s shopping list, so start early this year. First, look at USBDrive 2.0, which provides a hyper-fast connection and a data transfer rate up to 7MB/sec read and up to 5MB/sec write, for an easy, reliable backup alternative to CD-RW and Zip drives. Next is the 3G USBDrive. This model includes a more robust password protection feature to keep your information safe even if the device is lost or stolen, bootability that allows the user to boot from the USBDrive just as he would from a floppy disk or CD and a sleeker new casing design that makes it 25% smaller. For the outdoorsmen in your life, there’s USBDrive Waterproof. You don’t have to live on a fishing boat to appreciate this handy hermetically sealed casing. For the kid who has everything, try the USBDrive SD/MMC Card Reader. A handy device for multiple electronic media appliances, the built-in Secure Digital and Multi-Media Card reader means you can transfer pictures, songs and documents between any digital camera, MP3 player or PDA and your computer. Finally, the ultimate mobility tool, USBDrive Bluetooth. The storage and compatibility of a standard USBDrive tool with the added connectivity of Bluetooth. A built-in antenna eliminates the need for the cables and a local network. Price:$89 to $699. Contact: (425) 251-9400; www.usbdrive.com


Lucky Sevens

Siebel Systems has integrated ClickSoftware’s new ClickSchedule 7.1 into the new Siebel 7. ClickSchedule Adapter for Siebel eBusiness Applications eliminates the complexity typically associated with application integration. ClickSchedule is capable of handling even the largest field service organizations by automatically taking into consideration resource load, travel time, service-level agreements, work priority, customer contracts and preferences, technician skill levels and efficiency, travel and overtime costs as well as user-defined objectives. This load balancing, completely configurable architecture is also Web-enabled, with fast response time for regional, national and
global enterprises. This adapter allows Siebel Field Service 7 customers to take advantage of ClickSchedule’s scalability, real-time travel optimization, street-level routing and appointment and time scheduling, all from the familiar Siebel eBusiness Applications user interface. Price: NA. Contact: (888) 438-3308;
www.clicksoftware.com

Copyright 2004 Leisure Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
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